BY JOHN WRIGHT
Flavor Bites: Pent-3-en-2-one
Despite its limited usage and subtle role in a profile, this
is an ingredient that flavorists could make much more use
of to brighten an unusually wide range of flavors.
Many of the raw materials we normally consider are, at least for some flavor profiles, important contributors to the overall character of the flavor. In this case the target material, pent-3-en-2-one (FEMA# 3417, CAS# 625-33-2), despite the fact that it is found far and wide in nature, never
ventures to take anything remotely close to approaching a starring role.
The character of this chemical can best be described as ethereal. It has a
very powerful impact up front and lifts and brightens any applicable flavor
category. Several other FEMA flavor chemicals have similar profiles, most
interestingly a series of alkyl substituted furans. Why use pent-3-en-2-one
in preference to the alternatives? It has a very clean, uncomplicated profile.
It is found very widely in nature and probably gives the most natural effect
in a diverse range of flavors. In addition, none of the alternatives are nearly
as heat stable or substantive in flavors.
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.