What is a Flavourist?
A Flavourist creates flavours that food companies use to make their products taste delicious for human consumption.
Almost every processed food on the market has a flavouring of some sort, the most basic flavouring ingredient being sugar or salt.
In the past 30 years, there have been spectacular advancements in flavour science, both for the identification of components found in food products e.g. Apples, Oranges, and Beef etc. and for the so-called modulation of flavour experiences occurring in food products for the consumers benefit and enjoyment.
Flavourists generally have a scientific or food science background and are normally trained in-house at a flavour company, also known as a flavour house.
Creating a flavour is both an art and a science therefore; Flavourists require both analytical and creative cognitive skills. Often a Flavourist has to think out the box to create a unique fantasy flavour and at other times, they must think in the box to meet the challenge of making the best possible natural flavour on a low budget, which meets different regulatory and religious requirements.
Today Flavourists specialise in certain business segments be it sweet, beverage, culinary, snack, oral care etc. This enables the flavour house to use their creative capital more effectively and efficiently.
Symrise, one of the world’s leading flavour houses, trained me in Germany. I was fortunate not to become specialised enabling me to work in all parts of the business creating flavours for the research and innovation, sweet, beverage, tobacco, dairy, culinary, snack, and oral care sectors. My favourite areas of creation were snack and oral care as I find these two segments challenging, vibrant, and fascinating. I was afforded the opportunity of working for Symrise in South Africa, Germany, and Singapore.
If you are interested in learning more about flavourings and their role in the foods we eat, here are some basic links to get you exploring:
- The British Society of Flavourists
- The Society of Flavor Chemists
- International Organization of the Flavor Industry
- Wikipedia Flavour Houses