Cooking Chemistry and the Formulator—Seasonings: Taste and Smell

One’s sense of taste and smell determines his or her sensory impression of food, and of the traditional senses, smell is the main determinant of a food’s flavor. The taste of food is generally described as sweet, salty, sour, bitter and/or savory, and while the flavor of food does often relates to its smell, this does not always hold true. For example, something that tastes bitter might smell sweet. Therefore, the taste of a food can be enhanced by the addition of a flavor or flavorings. Taste rarely comes into play in cosmetics and personal care formulations; however, flavors—herein synonymous with the term fragrance—often are used to impart a sensorial experience and impression of a specific taste or experiential emotion. In fact, entire product lines are often built around a central fragrance focus.

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