The Truth Behind Flavors and Fragances

Can you name the top 10 flavor and fragrance companies in the world? I couldn’t until a few days ago. See I keep reading comments about flavorings. So I did a little digging. 

The top ten:

  • Firmenich, Switzerland
  • Givaudan, Switzerland 
  • International Flavors and Fragrances, USA
  • Symrise, Germany
  • Takasago International Corporation, Japan
  • Mane SA, France
  • Robertet Group, France
  • Sensient Technologies Corporation, USA
  • T. Hasegawa, Japan
  • Huabao International, Hong Kong

Okay, so what’s the big deal? 

Anytime you see an ingredients label that has “flavorings” or “fragrances” on the list, these companies are most likely responsible for creating that signature taste or smell you’re buying. I had always wondered why different brands of orange juice tasted well, different. 

Take a look for IFF on YouTube. They really sound like a good company. Right? Now put this address in your web browser. 

The bottom line, they start with natural ingredients and extract a flavor or fragrance profile. Now these companies have the recipe to artificially recreate that profile in the laboratory. 

Why do it?

I have found two stated reasons:

  • 1. Consistency. Let’s take ice cream for example. What if your favorite chocolate ice cream tasted different than usual? Would you continue to buy it? Food companies don’t want to take that chance. That’s where IFF comes in. They make sure the chocolate ice cream you love never tastes different. Thus keeping market share. 
  • 2. Cost. It’s too expensive to use natural ingredients. Artificial flavors and fragrances are far less expensive. 

Does this happen in the essential oils industry? Absolutely!

Remember consistency and cost. Let’s use peppermint as an example. We most likely have been programmed to believe that a peppermint candy, we see them everywhere, is what peppermint truly tastes like. It’s how we expect and want it to taste like, as this has become the accepted norm.

 That explains the shock and disbelief the first time a person tries true peppermint, or the reason a person chooses that artificial peppermint over the real thing. But artificial flavorings don’t do us any good. Remember, these secret proprietary fragrances and flavorings can cover up multiple unhealthy ingredients that do us harm in one way or another. 

It is truly sad to realize the level of blind trust people place in our consumer goods sector. Next time you go to any store think about what you’re about to buy, at the very least review the ingredients. Remember the adage “ Buyer beware”.