Friday, March 21, 2008

Nature of Flavor Components

Nature of Flavor Components
Plant materials used in foods depend for their characteristics aroma and flavor on a complex blend of organic chemicals produced in the plant tissues during its normal growth.

Progress in this field has been rapid and is accelerating s fuller use is made of modern instrumental techniques coupled with computerized data assessment and recovery. Hundreds of chemicals present in natural foods and flavorings have already been positively identified but some still defy categorization. This increased knowledge of plant biochemistry has, in turn given rise to other problems. The most pressing of these is the need to establish meaningful correlations between objectives and subjective assessments of the relative contribution of each component to the overall aromatic profile. This is further complicated by the absence of comprehensive and universally understood favor language to enable meaningful descriptions of the aromatic attributes of the chemical compounds isolated and characterized. Parallel with these predominantly subjective problems is the urgent need to established relative toxicity and safety in used for, as is well known, it is wrong to assume that everything found in nature is automatically safe for consumption.

Nature is complex and does not readily reveal many of her secrets. The techniques necessary to separate aromatic compounds from inert plant tissues are often involved and tedious. One cannot always be sure that essential flavoring components have been lost or modified in the process of extractions and concentration; or not entirely different artifacts have not been created. Many of the chemicals which have most significant on the odor and flavor profile are known to be present only in trace quantity and often demonstrate a very limited stability when isolated and purified. Modern research in this filed has material help us understand some of the biochemical processes which exist in the plant and the extent to which theses are responsible for the flavor of our food.
Nature of Flavor Components
 
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