2022 Flavor Summit

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Diana Klaser Cheng

International Flavors and Fragrances


Diana Klaser Cheng’s talk is entitled: Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy

Abstract: Hops are a known flavor ingredient for beer, and it’s not just about bitterness. This versatile botanical provides flavor, aroma, and functionality from complex citrusy and tropical fruity characters to anti-microbial protection. Partnering with hop industry leaders, we developed a collective of aromatic hop extracts from the most popular varietals, aroma oils from upcycled hop side-streams and a high impact molecule isolated from hops. In creating unique sensory profiles with these hop technologies, we show how we re-imagine natural ingredients.

Dinah Diaz

Global Citrus Marketing Director

 Dinah Diaz

Dinah Diaz's talk is entitled: Innovative all-natural citrus oils delivering unique freshness & authenticity in flavors

Abstract: Building on the strong consumer demand for clean label and authenticity, Firmenich has created FreshSlice™, a proprietary, all-natural collection of citrus oils for flavors delivering unique freshness, juiciness, and true-to-fruit taste. FreshSlice™ contains no solvent and is highly concentrated, offering both improved taste and cost in use advantages. FreshSlice™ citrus oils are created using a mild, low thermal extraction technique, thereby minimizing objectional by-products (artefacts) which can affect the taste profile of many flavors. FreshSlice™ also offers improved water solubility which creates superior clarity in sparkling beverages and seltzers.

Stephen Fenimore


Stephen Fenimore

Stephen Fenimore's talk is entitled: Citrus Leaf Oils: sustainability and chemometric descriptions

Abstract: Citrus flavor ingredients must meet a variety of challenges to be useful components of food and beverage flavors. Aroma profile, cost, solubility, stability, and sustainability are key parameters, to name a few. While new technical developments for natural ingredients are on the exciting forefront, there is yet scientific learning and commercial opportunities to be explored with traditional approaches. This talk will focus on the chemometric classification and comparison of citrus leaf oils obtained from 20 commercial citrus accessions maintained by the University of California, Riverside Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection. Chemical analysis and component mapping shows expected associations but also reveals unique groups that would have otherwise not been obvious by taxonomical methods. The chemical diversity knowledge helps highlight those varieties which may not yet be well represented by commercial petitgrain oils.
Contributing authors: Robin A. Clery, Anjo Armendi, Veronica Franco, Stefan Furrer, Joseph C. Genereux, Tracy L. Kahn, Kevin Koshiro

Christie Harman

Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association

Christie Harman

Christie Harman’s talk is entitled: Providing high impact to a high-impact industry: The FEMA Story

Abstract: The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States (FEMA) is comprised of flavor manufacturers, flavor users, flavor ingredient suppliers, and others with an interest in the U.S. flavor industry.  Founded in 1909, it is the national association of the U.S. flavor industry. Christie Harman will describe the activities of FEMA, and how FEMA supports the business of the flavor industry. FEMA’s impact is far-reaching and includes providing guidance to its members on complex regulatory issues, representing the flavor industry at FDA and other government bodies, advocating for sound policies, and supporting the safe use of flavorings. An overview of the FEMA GRAS program which provides regulatory authority to use flavorings in the USA will also be provided.

John Hayes

Penn State University

John Hayes

John Hayes’s talk is entitledIt hurts so good – chili intake, desensitization, and personality traits

Abstract: Chemesthesis (chemical touch) has been characterized as being part of a chemofensor complex that warns against inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of dangerous chemicals. Capsaicin, the prototypical agonist for the TRPV1 receptor, has long been considered an oral nasal irritant. Yet, chili peppers containing capsaicin were among the earliest plants domesticated by humans; with the Colombian exchange, they quickly spread globally and are consumed in many cuisines worldwide. Multiple hypotheses to explain the avidity of humans for what should otherwise be noxious aversive stimuli have been put forward, including monotony reduction, increased satiation, microbial protection, increased sweating, culture/machismo, and personality differences. In many studies, non-users report more burn than users when given the same stimulus. Classically, this has widely been interpreted as desensitization (or tolerance, providing a parallel to substance use) but cross-sectional designs cannot rule out the possibility that such differences are merely artifacts of scale use. Data from our team indicate reduced perceptual responses are inducible with repeated exposure in controlled feeding studies, and differential responses are not simply contextual artifacts. Regarding a widespread desire for nominally aversive sensations, reduced sensory responses (e.g., desensitization) alone are insufficient to explain affective shifts that occur in some individuals. Other data from our team provide strong support for personality traits (sensation seeking, impulsivity, variety seeking, sensitivity to reward) as direct and indirect predictors of chili intake. However, the influences of such traits differ, as there appear to be two separate pathways, one mediated via liking and one that is independent of liking.

Thomas Kauz


Thomas Kauz

Thomas Kauz’s talk is entitled: – Tangerine Oil Flavor Chemistry – Peely Zesty Notes 

Abstract: Tangerine peel oils can boost intriguing peely zesty notes in final products thanks to distinct aldehyde profiles. Exploring novel analytical avenues by leveraging gas chromatography coupled with ion mobility spectrometry, mass spectrometry and olfactometry, the dancy tangerine peel oil was screened and then subjected to fractionation by means of liquid chromatography to enrich and isolate unknown aroma candidates. After structure elucidation and sensory evaluation, two aldehydes yet unknown in the citrus space could be introduced, namely 2E,13-tetradecadienal and 2E,7Z-tetradecadienal. These findings contribute to a better understanding of citrus oil ingredients by generating insights into the sensory profiles of tangerine peel oils on a molecular level, finally enabling the creation of desired aroma products to make life taste better.

Ken Kraut

Global Chief Savory Flavorist
ADM Nutrition

Ken Kraut

Ken Kraut’s talk is entitled: – The Gold Standard: Creating consumer-preferred flavors for plant-based applications

Abstract: Plant-based products are basking in the consumer spotlight, with research showing 56% of consumers are trying to eat more plant-forward offerings in addition to their existing meat and dairy intake. With a captive audience around the globe, the market is ripe for further growth. The challenge for product developers lies in creating craveable products that meet shoppers’ sensory demands. With over half of flexitarian consumers in agreement that meat alternatives need taste improvements, finding flavor solutions that pave the way for a winning sensory experience is how products will grab the attention of discerning shoppers.

In this session, we’ll discuss the finer details behind formulating alt-protein flavors that mimic the gold standard of animal proteins, and how flavors can work in conjunction with other sensory attributes like texture, appearance and more. ADM’s decades of experience in flavor creation and research has helped us develop the expertise, technology and insights that give us an edge in finding solutions to the most complex flavor challenges.

Joel Mainland

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Joel Mainland

Joel Mainland’s talk is entitled: Digitizing Olfaction: Predicting Odor Perception from Molecular Structure

Abstract: If you have a modern phone, you can capture a visual scene as a photograph, alter it, send it to a relative in another country in an instant, and store it so you can look at it for years to come. None of this is currently possible in olfaction. In vision and audition, we know how to map physical properties to perception: wavelength translates into color and frequency translates into pitch. By contrast, the mapping from chemical structure to olfactory percept is poorly understood, limiting our ability to describe and control odors. This, in turn, limits our ability to understand how the olfactory system encodes perception. Olfaction has a higher dimensionality than the other senses, but recent models have shown that with enough data, machine learning techniques can predict human perception from molecular structure. We hypothesized that the rate-limiting step for building a model that predicts human perception from molecular structure is the collection of high-quality psychophysical data. Here I will discuss our work towards predicting the intensity and character of both single molecules and complex mixtures. This will allow us to predict the odor of novel molecules and mixtures and paves the way toward digitizing odors.

Steven Munger

UF Center for Smell and Taste

Steven Munger

Steven Munger’s talk is entitledSmell and taste loss in the time of COVID-19

Abstract: The novel coronavirus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, has left a staggering level of morbidity, mortality, and societal and economic disruption in its wake. Although the disease presents heterogeneously, it is now clear that sudden smell loss is a cardinal, early and potentially specific symptom of COVID-19. Furthermore, prolonged smell loss and/or smell distortions are a common feature of “long COVID,” potentially lasting for months, years or even a lifetime. For these individuals, as for others who have a temporary or permanent smell or taste disorder, perceptions of food flavor are dramatically altered. This can result in compromised nutrition, altered food and drink preferences, disrupted social interactions, and significant negative health outcomes. Going forward, the food, beverage and flavor industries will need to consider how smell and taste disorders such as those arising from COVID-19 may flavor preferences for many millions of affected individuals.

Vance M. Whitaker

University of Florida

Vance Whitaker

Vance Whitaker’s talk is entitledStrawberry Breeding to Enhance Consumer Satisfaction

Abstract: The University of Florida strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) breeding program has a strong focus on improving fruit quality, in particular flavor. Strawberry flavor is a complex trait influenced primarily by sugars, acids and volatile metabolites, not to mention a myriad of environmental variables. Over a period of ten years, consumer and descriptive analysis (trained) sensory panels were conducted along with analyses of sugars, acids and volatiles for a diverse panel of genotypes in order to understand the drivers of flavor. A consensus set of 15 volatiles were identified that increased sweetness ratings independently of sugars. Machine learning models including these volatiles explained 25% more variation than models accounting for sugars and acids alone. Several of these volatile targets were assayed in segregating breeding populations, and candidate genes associated with their biosynthesis were identified. Genetic markers for aroma biosynthesis genes have been developed and are being used to select the best seedlings in the breeding program. Meanwhile, genomics methods are also being used to select the best parents for crosses in order to achieve a balance between yield and fruit sugar content. In summary, our breeding program has adopted a paradigm for improvement of flavor in which sensory analyses drive the targeting of chemicals important to consumer-desired attributes, which further drives the development of genomics tools and breeding strategies.

Alex Woo


Alex Woo

Alex Woo’s talk is entitledClean Label Sweetness Modulators: Neuroscience, ingredient technologies and applications in foods and beverages

Abstract: Human flavor perception involves all five senses.  Sweetness modulator is an ingredient technology space based on contemporary taste and smell neuroscience.  Mechanisms of action include FMP, sweet smell, and bitterness blockers.  Making reduced sugar foods and beverages formulated with stevia and monk fruit more like sugar becomes increasingly possible with these plant-based natural sweetness modulators.