Meet the ‘flavorists’: Food chemists who make plant-based Beyond, Impossible burgers taste like ‘meat’

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Image: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Marie Wright dips four long strips of paper, the kind you’d sniff a perfume sample from in Sephora, into bottles of clear liquid marked Methyl Cinnamate, Ethyl Butyrate, y-decalactone and Furaneol. She holds the four strips together and wafts them, fanlike, under her nose. Suddenly, the lab smells of strawberries.

Wright is the vice president and chief global flavorist for Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world’s largest food processors and suppliers. She’s a former French perfume industry chemist who has created more than 1,000 individual flavors for major food and beverage companies …. Wright and the planet’s 200 or so other flavorists are bringing their alchemy to plant-based meat ….

Related article:  Lab-grown, plant-based meats raise thorny ethical questions about animal welfare, sustainability

“These are great proteins from a nutritional perspective, but plant-based presents some challenges with tastes that can be unpleasant,” Wright says. First, there is the masking of the vegetal “green” notes in pea protein and the “beany” notes in soy, often by adding other ingredients and chemicals.

Read full, original article: Inside the little-known world of flavorists, who are trying to make plant-based meat taste like the real thing

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