Synthetics: Safe, Sustainable
Editorial Advisory Board
President and CEO,
Flavor Dynamics, Inc.
Ph.D, Independent vanilla and
Independent flavor consultant
BRIAN M. LAWRENCE
Natural Products Editor,
Perfumer & Flavorist magazine;
Journal of Essential Oil Research
Senior flavorist, abelei flavors
President, Leslie C. Smith
Regulatory affairs manager,
FONA International, Inc.
Independent flavorist and author
W e experience a variety of synthetic versions of naturals in our daily lives.
Electronic music, for
example, has evolved to
imitate an infinite number
of sounds, from an acoustic
guitar to disco space lasers. But
the mission is the same: to create a
compelling, engaging, quality experience for
The Bread & (Naturally-Flavored) Butter of F& F
One of my favorite definitions of artificial flavors comes from Science.com,
in its segment, How Stuff Works [ 1]. It says that “artificial flavors are simply
chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavor in some way.” It’s a simple,
unbiased definition that tells us that synthetics are inspired by nature.
It’s clear that synthetic ingredients are thrown under the bus when it
comes to public opinion; whereas natural ingredients are revered. As a result,
I can sense the frustration in our industry. After all, synthetic ingredients are
the bread and butter of F&F – not to mention the rigorous research, testing
and efficacy of synthetics that typically offer more stability in formulations
So how do we break the stigma attached to synthetics? How do we convey
to the public that synthetics are synonymous with safe, sustainable and cost
effective formulations? (page 40). As our world population continues to
grow, the use of synthetics will be fundamental to address our lack of global
resources. Despite how bleak that sounds, it’s an opportunity to focus on
sourcing (page 30) rather than solely on methods.
“In all of human history, the food supply has never been more abundant,
diverse or safe [ 2],” said the authors of “The Fear Babe.” Synthetics are certainly responsible for a bulk of that safety. It’s time to bring them into the light.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Happy learning to you.
With warmth from New York City,
1. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://science.howstuffworks.com/question391.html
2. Alsip, M., Draco, M., Senapathy, K., Petrik, M., & Folta, K. (2015). The Fear Babe: shattering
Vani Hari’s glass house. United States: Senapath Press.