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BY JOHN WRIGHT
Flavor Bites: sec-Butylamine
For flavorists, the amines category might be among
the least popular for flavor creation. Difficult to use and
pungent, these chemicals can be used in a variety of
savory, some fruit and even whiskey flavors.
In the rich and varied palette of flavor chemicals available to the adventurous flavorist, it would be hard to find a less popular category than the amines. They are amazingly pungent and difficult to use. Trimethylamine is far and away the most popular, probably used more than all other amines combined,
but it is not necessarily always the best choice. The biggest challenge
posed by trimethylamine is its very high volatility. In many applications,
it boils off entirely and it is very difficult to judge the right level to add
to even the least challenging end products. Higher molecular weight
amines reduce this problem, but there is a trade-off. They lose some of
the bright fishy note and gain a distinctly unattractive musty nuance.
There are a dozen obvious alternatives to trimethylamine and it is worth
looking at each in turn.
Note that the dose rates given throughout this article are the levels
suggested for use in flavors intended to be dosed at 0.05% in ready-to-drink
beverages or in a simple bouillon.