Food additive used to change its aroma or taste / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A flavoring (or flavouring[lower-alpha 1]), also known as flavor (or flavour) or flavorant, is a food additive used to improve the taste or smell of food. It changes the perceptual impression of food as determined primarily by the chemoreceptors of the gustatory and olfactory systems. Along with additives, other components like sugars determine the taste of food.
A flavoring is defined as a substance that gives another substance taste, altering the characteristics of the solute, causing it to become sweet, sour, tangy, etc. Although the term, in common language, denotes the combined chemical sensations of taste and smell, the same term is used in the fragrance and flavors industry to refer to edible chemicals and extracts that alter the flavor of food and food products through the sense of smell.
Owing to the high cost, or unavailability of natural flavor extracts, most commercial flavorings are "nature-identical", which means that they are the chemical equivalent of natural flavors, but chemically synthesized rather than being extracted from source materials. Identification of components of natural foods, for example a raspberry, may be done using technology such as headspace techniques, so the flavorist can imitate the flavor by using a few of the same chemicals present. In the EU legislation, the term "natural-identical flavoring" does not exist. The legislation is specified on what is a "flavoring" and a "natural flavoring".