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Your feelings on artificial flavors

Your feelings on artificial flavors

Old Sep 11, 08, 8:02 am
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Your feelings on artificial flavors

In general, I like things natural. Sometimes natural flavors are prohibitively expensive or won't work in a product and there are good substitutes.

I'm not crazy about fresh peaches but I love artificial peach flavor. I could eat a bag of gummy peach flavored candy every day of my life. I shudder to think where artificial peach flavor comes from.

I'm not a big watermelon fan, but I've come to appreciate it in the right place at the right time (Independence day picnics for example) if it's ripe, juicy and sweet. Artificial watermelon flavor? A huge yuck.
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Old Sep 11, 08, 8:10 am
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Artificial grape flavor never, ever tastes like real grapes to me, but those hard watermelon candies always make me think of the real thing. Artifical cherry or orange flavor never works for me either, but the sour apple candies are good. So I guess it's just a matter of personal preference (or my taste buds are all screwed up).
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Old Sep 11, 08, 9:18 am
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Remembering one of my after-school job in a high quality ice cream shop the peach flavor in their ice cream is actually derived from apricots. I have no idea where it currently comes from.

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Old Sep 15, 08, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
In general, I like things natural. Sometimes natural flavors are prohibitively expensive or won't work in a product and there are good substitutes.
Not sure I agree. If the natural flavouring is "too expensive" then you are trying to make a mass market product out of something that shouldn't be.

Most of these artificial flavours would be a lot less appealing if people understood that they are just cheap chemicals, only inserted in your food to make more profit for a company that actually cares nothing about food or their customer.

Vanilla beans are "too expensive"? Well maybe everything doesnt need to be flavoured with it - which, its seems is the way it is, eing probably the most common flavouring in the western world.

So what about this artifiical vanilla flavour? Here is an extract from Wikipedia on how artifical vanillin is made:
Vanillin was commercially produced from eugenol until the 1920s.[22] Later, it was synthesized from lignin-containing "brown liquor", a byproduct of the sulfite process for making wood pulp.[23] Counter-intuitively, even though it uses waste materials, the lignin process is no longer popular because of environmental concerns. today most vanillin is produced from the petrochemical raw material guaiacol.[24] Several routes exist for synthesizing vanillin from guaiacol.[25] At present, the most significant of these is the two-step process practiced by Rhodia since the 1970s, in which guaiacol reacts with glyoxylic acid by electrophilic aromatic substitution. The resulting vanilmandelic acid is then converted to vanillin by oxidative decarboxylation.[26] In October 2007 Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan won an Ig Nobel prize for developing a way to extract vanillin from cow dung.
If it wasnt bad enough that your cheap food flavouring was coming from fermented logging waste, they moved it to your local Exxon refinery - even cheaper! And next, it will now come from cow doo doo.

Mmmm mmmm - that sure sounds yummy doesn't it? Thanks, but I'll stick to my routine of avoiding artificial flavours at all costs.
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Old Sep 15, 08, 2:47 pm
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I'm not too fond of real cherries but I absolutely LOVE cherry flavored candies. Especially cherry Lifesavers. I'll eat them until my teeth go sore (and then some).

On the other hand, I love eating oranges but hate orange flavor candies.

As for vanilla coming from cow poo, that which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger
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Old Sep 15, 08, 2:55 pm
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If you read a food chemistry book, you'll find out that "natural" flavors are chemicals.

The aromas in bread come from:

2-nonenal
2,4-decadienal
4,5-epoxy-2-decanal
3-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2-furanone
vanillin
and many other "natural" chemicals, too many to list.

You'll also learn that cooking food generates carcinogens and other nasty stuff.

You might as well get used to the idea that you're eating chemicals.
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Old Sep 15, 08, 5:36 pm
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Vegetarian hot-dogs are pretty much indistinguishable from the meat ones.

I also occasionally put fake bacon pieces onto an okonomiyaki.

Neither substitutes hold a candle to quality meat, but I can detect little difference between them and the cheap pork products that make up the bulk of what supermarkets in England sell. It grieves me that pigs are bred and killed to make the sort of garbage these fake tastes are an adequate substitution for.
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Old Sep 15, 08, 9:48 pm
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I think artificial flavours may be responsible for the development of "man-breasts".
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Old Sep 15, 08, 10:30 pm
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Not really an artificial 'flavor' per se, but I have to admit that there are a few things that a bit of MSG really works wonders in.
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Old Sep 17, 08, 10:21 am
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The original "dicovery" of the formulation of artificial flavors from a variety of "organics", originally coal tar derivatives but soon shifting to petroleum based esters ranks with the "discovery" and production of organic dyes.

"Banana oil" must have been among the earliest, but you sure wouldn't want to flavor things with formic acid (which also occurs naturally, manufactured by ants and humans).
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Old Sep 17, 08, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by TMOliver View Post
... you sure wouldn't want to flavor things with formic acid ...
Do you drink coffee?

Formic acid is a major part of the sour flavor component in coffee. It forms during roasting of the beans. And I'm not talking about trace amounts, there is a lot of formic acid. In fact, any food with roasted sugar should have formic acid in it.
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Old Sep 17, 08, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by braslvr View Post
Not really an artificial 'flavor' per se, but I have to admit that there are a few things that a bit of MSG really works wonders in.
Mmmmm, glutamates

MSG is preferable to the various hydrolized proteins and yeast extracts used as a "more natural" alternative in a lot of prepared foods.

Real natural glutamates in food (seaweed and parmesan cheese, especially!) are better still.

As for artificial flavors in general, sometimes things "taste right" to me and sometimes they "taste fake." In rare cases, the latter aren't even from artificial flavors (preservatives/preparation can do it - shelf stable citrus juices, for example.) As long as it tastes good, I don't care much where it comes from.
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Old Sep 17, 08, 4:06 pm
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Even though I understand (generally speaking anyway) the argument about chemicals being also naturally occuring, I avoid them for the most part.

I just don't ever really have occasion to choose artificial flavors when natural ones are readily and easily available to me. But, then again, I own a health food store, so take my opinion with a grain of naturally occuring sea salt.
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Old Sep 17, 08, 4:56 pm
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I love cherries and bananas, but loathe artificial cherry or banana flavored things.

I'm with ya on the gummy peach rings though ^
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Old Sep 17, 08, 9:02 pm
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Wherever possible I'd opt for the fresh, raw ingredient over the manufactured consumer food item.

I think we could all do with more fresh fruit and vegetables (and nuts), even if we enjoy sweets, confected drinks and chocolate.

I'm sure your liver would agree.
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