Flavors, the essence of gustatory pleasure, are a complex interplay of volatile compounds that activate our taste receptors. These compounds, both natural and synthetic, contribute to the rich tapestry of sensory experiences in the realm of food. Chemically, flavors encompass a diverse array of aromatic compounds such as esters, aldehydes, ketones, and terpenes, each imparting a distinct character to the final product. 

Flavorings can be broadly categorized into natural and artifical variants or a mix of them both. Natural flavors are extracted from plants, fruits, and other organic sources, while Artificial flavors are chemically synthesized. The carriers, or vehicles, for these flavors often include water, alcohol, propylene glycol, and glycerin. These carriers facilitate the dispersion of flavors, ensuring uniform distribution throughout the food matrix. 

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Source and Processing

Natural flavors originate from a variety of sources, including fruits, herbs, spices, and even animal products. Extraction methods involve processes such as steam distillation, cold pressing, or solvent extraction. Synthetic flavors, on the other hand, are meticulously crafted through chemical synthesis, ensuring precision and consistency.

Main function in Confections

In confections, flavors play a pivotal role in elevating taste profiles. Flavors will impart taste, aroma and sometimes sensations to the confectionery products. They mask undesirable tastes, enhance sweetness, and contribute to the overall palatability of confectionery products.


Solubility: Flavors exhibit varying solubilities depending on their chemical composition and the chosen carrier. Water-soluble flavors are ideal for beverages, while oil-soluble ones are suitable for fat-based confections.​

Flashing point: Most confections are flavored while still hot, it is important to review the temperature at which the flavor will be added to avoid flavor to flashed out.

Shelf Stability: The stability of flavors is crucial for maintaining product quality over time. Factors such as temperature, light exposure, and oxygen can impact stability. Proper storage conditions, including cool and dark environments, are essential to extend shelf life.


In the United States, the Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA) provides regulatory guidance for the flavor industry. Flavors and flavoring substances are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used within established limits. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21, Section 172, outlines the permissible use of flavorings in various food categories, ensuring consumer safety and product integrity.

Another regulation to whats out is the Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 issued in the state of California, is a list that  contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Some flavor compounds can be found in this list.

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