Orange blossom


A whiff of floral flavor ideas

Flavors from floral sources are adding aroma, a healthy image and a natural element to food and beverage formulations.

Comax Flavors, Melville, N.Y., featured “Flower Power,” a collection of flower-inspired flavors, among its flavor collections for 2017 trends. Floral flavors are emerging in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as dairy products.

“Driven by the health and wellness trend, consumers continue to seek flavors inspired by nature,” said Catherine Armstrong, vice-president of corporate communications for Comax Flavors. “Comax Flavors predicts floral flavors will be the next generation of better-for-you products, and to meet demand we created the ‘Flower Power’ range.”

Flavors in the range include blueberry hibiscus, orange blossom vanilla and raspberry lavender. Potential applications include dairy items, baked foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, beverage syrups, and tea.

Formulators at Mizkan America, Inc., Mount Prospect, Ill., are seeing more savory-sweet combinations as well as fruit-flower combinations, said Guy Meikle, corporate chef.

“The feeling we experience while biting and chewing our food makes us experience texture, freshness and pungency,” he said. “However, on average only 20% of our flavor experience is due to taste and touch. Far more important is our sense of smell.”

He listed several combinations that stimulate senses of taste and smell: rose and orange ginger fizz, orange and mango lassi, balsamic and raspberry used for desserts or charcuterie boards, black pepper with fruit, jalapeño with fruit in beverages such as a strawberry jalapeño margarita, beet and chocolate, and matcha or green tea and fruit.

The fusions of sweet and heat or fruit and heat continue to be popular, said Kim Cornelius, a senior scientist at Wixon, Inc., St. Francis, Wis.

“Chocolate and chili in desserts and cocktails are all over menus and easy to find,” she said. “For fruit and heat, mango serrano and pineapple jalapeño are combinations that can be found in salad dressing and sauces.”