INDIANAPOLIS — Consumers will seek to discover new flavors, perhaps from South American oranges or fermented garlic, according to flavor trend predictions for 2012 from Sensient Flavors. The company used a proprietary process that filters trends from the broad level down to the flavors themselves. The list of flavors was inspired from mega trends such as health and wellness, sensory, comfort and connections.

“As we researched these mega trends for the 2012 Sensient flavors predictions, an underlying theme emerged which reflected a consumer desire for and interest in discovery,” said Jim Sheperd, director of beverage solutions at Sensient Flavors. “That is, consumers today are increasingly open to — and even seek — new flavor profiles in both the food and beverages they purchase. Three subsets of the discovery theme emerged: new and novel, re-invention, and combination of flavors.”

Sensient’s flavor trend predictions include:

?Aji Amarillo — The bright orange is native to South America. Its chile flavor offers a profile with medium heat and fruity notes.
?Black garlic — The fermented garlic offers a sweet, syrupy flavor. Emil Shemer, director of food solutions at Sensient Flavors, said, “Whereas U.S. consumers are very familiar with garlic, black garlic popular in Asian cuisine re-invents a familiar favorite into a new, craveable taste sensation for a broadened consumer base.”
?Coriander — It is native to the Middle East, southern Europe and Asia. The seed of the coriander plant is used in a variety of cuisines and applications. It offers a fragrant profile with citrus and warm spice notes.
?Honeycrisp apple — Breeders from the University of Minnesota introduced the apple variety in 1991. Honeycrisp apple offers a profile with sweet, tart and juicy notes.
?Lucuma — Native to South America, the lucuma offers a sweet flavor profile with notes of maple, sweet potato and caramel.
?Peach rosemary — The flavor combines the fresh and juicy profile of peach with the earthy, piney and aromatic notes of rosemary.
?Pink peppercorn — A dried berry from the Baies rose plant, the pink peppercorn offers a sweet, warm and spicy profile with earthy and citrus undertones.
?Plum — It offers a sweet, tart and juicy profile.
?Spicy caramel — It offers subtle spice and heat notes in combination with the sweet brown profile of caramel. Mr. Shemer said, “Consumer interest in what’s next also influences the flavor creation of both savory and sweet foods. This year’s flavor predictions of lucuma and aji Amarillo, for example, are for the most part new and novel to stateside consumers, while spicy caramel offers an unexpected, and even surprising, flavor combination.”
?Varietal vanilla — Sourced from the three main vanilla plant varieties used for extraction, vanilla profiles from different growing regions such as Madagascar, Mexico, Indonesia, India and Tahiti offer subtle nuances on the classic vanilla profile. Mr. Sheperd said, “In the beverage category, the re-invention theme comes into play with the re-assessment of heirloom varieties of plum, while vanilla becomes more interesting — re-invented if you will — through varietal taste profiles, while the combination of peach and rosemary flavors speak to emerging flavor combinations that excite the palate.”