sulfur compounds must be kept out of tasting areas to ensure
a neutral workspace.
The key technologies driving essential oil innovation over the
last 60 years have been fractional distillation, chromatography
and biotechnology, said Colin Ringlieb (Ultra International).
Because field processing is relatively crude, the industry has
always followed up with additional refinements to ensure that
the oils that reach the market are of an acceptable quality. Field
processing involves lots of hand work and may even employ
wooden stills packed with clay—even to this day. However, he
added, groups like the citrus industry behave more like big business agriculture; they are efficient and employ clean processing.
Today, products such as citrus, savory blends and mint are
critical in many flavor systems, said Ringlieb, while herbal oils
are also important. Other categories of oils may be only contributory to overall flavor systems.
Citrus materials for flavor applications are likely to be folded,
from single to 20-times to produce terpeneless and sesquiter-peneless types for increased solubility. Meanwhile, fractions can
isolate key chemicals within essential oils.
A working knowledge of seasonal variation is critical to formulators, said Ringlieb, as is an understanding of the impact
of different fractionation techniques, ability to select materials based on the flavor task at hand and economics, stability
and details of subsequent processing. Because essential oils
are highly unstable naturally, understanding them is crucial.
Essential oils stored well will age well, he added.
Authentication is a big concern for today’s formulators, said
Ringlieb. Are blended and WONF (with other natural flavors)
flavors properly labeled? Ringlieb warned that stretching oils
by adding non-volatile oils like castor oil and vegetable oil is
a common practice amongst unreliable suppliers. Purchasers
also have to be wary and screen for synthetic chemical addition.
Meanwhile, the volume of regulatory pressures will put low-volume oils at risk, and so it is crucial for the industry to find and
maintain accessible resources for those ingredients. With just
in time deliveries, prices can be volatile—particularly as there
is no buffer inventory. As a result, big storms or other supply
limitations can be crippling.
Cloudy with a Chance of Customer Rejection: Stable
Cindy Cosmos (Bell Flavors & Fragrances) and Hedy Kulka
(IFF) discussed the formulation of stable flavors using solvent
combinations such as propylene glycol/triacetin, ethanol/triac-etin, ethanol/MCT Neobee, ethanol/MCT/sunflower, etc.
The flavorist encounters many stability issues in formulations,
the presenters noted, including cloudiness, which can of course
lead to customer rejection. The flavorist’s goal, said Cosmos, is
to formulate a robust flavor that is clear and will remain stable
even if accidentally refrigerated or exposed to extreme cold
during shipping. As transportation has become more complicated, products become exposed to ever greater temperature
and timing variables.
Assessing the appropriate solvent(s) for a formulation
requires the flavorist to consider key parameters, including the
actives present, organic compliance (if relevant), flammability,
potability, cost, stability and legal/regulatory considerations.
Solvents must withstand microbial growth and keep components
such as ketals and acetals from reacting in situ.
Kulka and Cosmos explained that flavorists must watch for
phase separation, like oil slick separation creating layers from
oeleoresins, as well as hazing and clouding, and recrystallization.
While filtration can clean this up, this is a burdensome process
that only confirms the flavor is out of balance and should have
been reworked, said Cosmos.
Cosmos and Kulka have undertaken numerous experiments
with ingredients and solvents. They presented an oleoresin in
amino triglycerides and another in propylene glycol (PG). In
the version containing triglycerides, one could observe some
Ethyl lactate or lactic acid can aid the addition of solids to a
solution. These materials taste relatively neutral, so the flavor
impact is minimal. On the other hand, triacetin is soluble in
water to a certain degree, as well as MCT, PG and others;
however, it is a plasticizer, which is a problem in gum. Triacetin
is commonly used in combination with MCT to get more solids
in an oil-based flavor.
When a formulation is completed, its solubility should be
tested via refrigeration or by adding extra solids into the solution to see what, if anything, falls out. If just a small amount of
additional solid material causes the formula to destabilize, it
From left: Glen Kraemer (Sensient), Thomas Massetti (Craftmaster Flavor
Technology) and Christina Barrera (Sensient).
From left: Kent Zeller (Hershey) and Jennifer Updegrove (Shanks Extracts).
(Continued from Page 26)