The danger of feeding on aromas

There are days when one transforms like a caterpillar into a butterfly. The opening of a great Riesling from the Tail o of a pinot noir from the Burgundy these are, in the world of wine, two paradigmatic examples. But the truth is that in every corner there is an experiment ready to torpedo everything. The day I met a aroma It was one of those days. Due to professional ethics, I am unable to reveal his name or name the company he worked for. The only thing I’m going to tell you is that he wasn’t just any flavourist, but a big shot from a Catalan company with decades of experience designing, manufacturing and marketing flavors. aromas around the world. The fact is that by discovering how the food sector is altered, An unprecedented feeling of commitment was born in me, of an impetuous force, around the defense of authentic food, without cheating, capable of touching us from the effort of a farmer and the generosity of a earth. That day the aromatist told me about the traps, or loopholes, or legal frameworks adulterated by the European lobbies, which cause an infestation of aromas in virtually all of our daily foods: from sourdough bread from this chain of artisan bakeries, to butter from this peasant cooperative, to quality coffee capsules or traditional dark chocolate. The fact is that the flavor industry has taken root in almost every area of ​​food. However, what is a perfume and why should you avoid them?

Industrial bread with an artisan look / Photo: Qcom

“The problem that apple has no taste es of apple, sino of our taste buds taste, which get used to an intensity of flavor that is not are real


A flavoring is a substance or a mixture of substances that are used to flavor a certain food. Unlike a drop of oil or vinegar, the purpose of which is also to add flavor, flavorings have no nutritional properties and are not considered food. They are simply additives foodbone. For instance; Rosemary powder, which we could consider as a food, ingredient or condiment, is not the same as a certain rosemary flavoring, even though it has the same flavor molecules as the aforementioned rosemary powder. In principle, the difference between the two would be obvious: the first is natural and the second, artificial; But let’s not get carried away by appearances. From the perspective of the regulations associated with food labeling, rosemary powder is simply rosemary. Instead, the second could be three things: a rosemary extract, such as an essential oil or an oleoresin; a aroma, for example, made from a combination of terpenes of petrochemical origin such as limonene, linalool or citronel·lol; or one natural flavor.

Precision is a fundamental aspect in the creation of a perfume / Photo: Swissinfo

The danger of aromas

Rice husk and a bio-reactor, i.e. a organic residue and a container to which are added enzymes oh microorganisms Under controlled conditions, industry has learned to synthesize molecules as sophisticated as vanillin. From a molecular chemical point of view, this biosynthetic vanillin, the vanillin synthesized in the laboratory from petroleum derivatives, or the vanillin contained in a vanilla pod Madagascar, they are exactly the same. However, its legal name (and price, of course) changes: the former would be considered anatural flavorthe second simply aaromaand the third vanilla extract”. In all cases, each of these three molecules fulfills the same function: to provide fragrance, that is to say flavor, to a food. And although they are harmless to health, the truth is that they distort reality and generate addiction patterns. In my case, for example, day after day they also fed me like a child on the basis of flavored yogurts coconut, pineapple, peach or strawberry, the fruit did not interest me too much. If inside the fridge I had a product like a fruit, but sweeter, tastier and more colorful, why the hell should I have been interested in a fruit? bland apple? In the end, the problem with the apple that has no flavor is not the apple, but our taste buds, which get used to an intensity of flavor that is not real.

“When flavorings are mentioned in the list of ingredients of a certain processed foods, distrust of this food. Pero distrust againas when these are not mentioned”

Flavored yogurts / Photo: Carrefour

Applications in favor of the accused

For some time there have been applications for the móvil that assess the supposed quality of processed foods. There are several, I won’t say names. And, despite the fact that it amuses me to watch how each other scans barcodes around the supermarket, the truth is that I suffer. Anyone who has the slightest aspiration to live with healthphysical and emotional As you will have understood, establishing hierarchies between processed products such as gazpacho, biscuits, butter or anchovies is completely ridiculous. At this stage of the game, it is obvious that there are only two ways to get food: either bfine from homemade or artisanal processes, obfine from industrial processes. And, in the same way that the rich get richer every day and the poor get poorer every day, industrial foods are everyday more industrial and artisanal foods are everyday more artisanal. I mean, that middle ground where you would like to be doesn’t really exist: either you feed yourself or the industry feeds you, one of the two. And if you fall into the misfortune of trusting the packaged gazpacho, even though it has 100 points and a long price list, You are lost. Because it means you trust the food industry instead of distrusting it. Or even worse, that you think you’re smarter than her: or do you really think that the industry doesn’t know about all those apps you’re using and aren’t modifying their products accordingly? And not necessarily so that they are in better health, but simply so that they have a better score. And if it can be at a higher priceslowfor example by substituting a caloric but nutritious food like butter for an even better butter flavor.

A common image in supermarkets / Photo: from below

The industrial function of aromas

From an industrial point of view, several arguments justify the addition of a flavoring to a food: the restoration of its sensory properties originals, which, as a result of industrial processes, have been altered; the lack of original sensory properties (something very common among the products of agriculture, livestock or intensive aquaculture); the need to create cheap products; the need to transform one food into another (for example, pea protein in a beef patty); the need to create products very addictive by the effects of aromatic concentrations on the reward system of our brain; the need to homogeneousindustrial lifting products so that they always have the same flavor; the need to reduce time and steps, and facilitate manufacturing processesfrom industrial; or needand prolong life uat some products. But the fact is: when flavorings are mentioned in the ingredient list of a certain processed food, beware of that food. But be even more suspicious when these are not mentioned. Or how do you think the butter you buy always tastes the same if not with an aroma based on diacetyl, butyric acid and vanillin?

Natural Butter Flavor / Sosa Ingredients

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