Food flavouring or flavour enhancers are food additives to gives or strengthen the taste/smell of a particular food. It allows food to be sweet, sour, salty, bitter and so on. It should be noted that natural flavour extracts have high costs, so usually synthesised commercial flavourants which are chemical equivalent to the corresponding natural flavours are used instead. Examples include monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame and esters.
So this post, Part 7 of Berry Berry Easy series of notes on Chemicals for Consumers is focussed on food flavourings, their functions, examples and side effects. Do read this post, after you have read our previous posts on food preservatives and antioxidants.
[Tips: This is a health-awareness tips. Food flavouring (or food additives in general) can only be used if they do not pose any danger to human/consumer health, its use is not misleading to consumers and be used in limited quantities. Make sure that you take notice on food labelling in the future to better understand this topic.]
SPM Chemistry Form 5 Notes – Chemicals for Consumers (Part 7)
- improve the taste
- improve the smell
- restore taste loss due to food process
|MSG (monosodium glutamate)||Bring out the flavor||Salad dressing & canned soup||Headache, thirsty, nausea & chest pain.|
|Aspartame (non-sugar sweetener)||Sweeten food (about 180 – 200 times than sugar)||Soft drinks & diet drinks||Increase the risk of leukaemia, cancer and neurological problems|
|Synthetic essences (esters)||Produce artificial flavours = natural flavour. Cheaper to use than the real fruits||Methyl butanoate (apple flavour) & octyl ethanoate (orange flavour)||-|
This is the end of this post. In the next post (Part 8), Berry Readers will be learning about food stabilisers under the topic of Chemicals for Consumers – SPM Chemistry Form 5. So do stay tuned.