Eugenol in Flavors
There are applications for this highly distinctive ingredient in a
range of profiles.
John Wright; email@example.com
Eugenol (FEMA# 2467, CAS# 17-53-0), or 2-methoxy 4-prop- 2-enyl phenol, is so strongly
associated with clove that it is easy to
miss the multitude of other uses for
this surprisingly versatile raw material.
The character of eugenol is strongly
reminiscent of clove buds but is also
recognizable as an integral part of
the broad family of sweet smelling
The problem for flavorists, I suspect,
is the clove character is very familiar and
gives rise to the understandable suspicion that the use of any level of eugenol
in any flavor will result in a recognizable
clove note rather than integrate smoothly
into the flavor. 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 simple bouillons.
Herb and Spice Flavors
Clove buds: Levels of eugenol in
clove-based flavors vary considerably,
especially in blended spice flavors, but
10,000 ppm is a good starting point.
Allspice: Ten thousand ppm is also
a good level of addition for eugenol in
allspice (pimiento) flavors and Jamaican
jerk-style spice blends.
Ceylon cinnamon: The presence
of eugenol is one of the key differences
between true cinnamon and cassia;
500 ppm is a good level in Ceylon cinnamon flavors.
Bay laurel: In bay leaf (laurel)
flavors, especially bouquet garni-type
blends, 500 ppm works well.
Sweet basil: Again, levels vary quite
notably in sweet basil flavors. A typical
level is in the region of 300 ppm.
Nutmeg: More modest levels work
best in spice flavors based on nutmeg or
mace; ideally around 100 ppm.
Smoke: Eugenol is an important part
of the phenolic complex at the heart of
all smoke flavors. The ideal use level
depends on the profile required but
100 ppm is a good place to start.
Ham: The smoke component of
eugenol carries over well into ham
flavors, with varying levels depending
on the level and type of smoked note;
50 ppm is a good starting point.
Bacon: The same comments apply
equally to bacon flavors, again with
50 ppm as a good initial use level.
Banana: One of the most effective
demonstrations of a simple blend of key
recognition characters is the mixture
of isoamyl acetate and eugenol. Within
a reasonably wide range of mixtures,
the character spectacularly snaps into
banana from being separate clove and
tutti-frutti notes. The ideal level of
eugenol in authentic-tasting banana
flavors is 1,000 ppm.
Mango: Compared with banana, the
role of eugenol in mango flavors is a distinct step down but the addition of 30
ppm enhances realism.
Guava: Guava flavors can easily be
too simplistic; the addition of 10 ppm of
eugenol can add complexity.
Lychee: Even lower levels are
appropriate in the intrinsically subtle
category of lychee flavors. Starting at
10 ppm, eugenol can add complexity to
the floral rose note.
Cherry: Cherry flavors vary considerably in style, ranging from fruity
to almond, through more authentic.
Eugenol fits well into all these different
styles with an ideal level of addition in
the region of 100 ppm.
Blackberry: At 100 ppm, eugenol
also is highly effective in fresh blackberry flavors, adding authenticity and
Raspberry: Slightly less, around
60 ppm, is the ideal level of eugenol
addition in fresh raspberry flavors, offsetting the raspberry ketone effectively
and adding realism.
Blueberry: At levels around 60
ppm, eugenol contributes significantly
to the skin character of blueberry. It is
even more effective in closely related
Cranberry: The skin note is also
a vital component of cranberry flavors.
Here, the ideal eugenol level is around
Blackcurrant: A very similar berry
skin effect is also achieved in realistic
blackcurrant flavors at around 30 ppm
Strawberry: Only low levels of
addition are needed in fresh strawberry
flavors; around 20 ppm.