The science of flavors reveal what exactly you are tasting in a...

The science of flavors reveal what exactly you are tasting in a Pumpkin Spice Latte


A change in seasons bring a array of lovely smells and edibles reminding you why you love this time of year. Marketers love to tap into these senses to invoke feelings of nostalgia and thereby boost sales of products. But have you ever wondered what exactly you are tasting in these seasonal sensations?

Sci Show does a terrific job of breaking down how these manufacturers capture the tastes and smells without even sharing an ingredient with the product advertised. The science of artificial flavors is pretty incredible and surprising when evaluating what exact components are giving you the taste of pumpkin pie with that latte.

You can attribute these artificial and natural flavors that make up the products that you consume everyday to professionals called Flavorists. Flavorists are basically the scientists that create these tastes and smells and often have to study for five or more years to obtain a certification from the Society of Flavor Chemists. Mind this is after receiving their bachelors degree in a related scientific field and sometimes even a masters degree as well. Rest assured your taste buds are in good hands.

Sci Show breaks it down to this headline concept that whatever you taste from a completely natural organic to entirely artificial product, that taste is conceived from your brain picking up the chemicals in that food. The FDA associates a compound to be considered a “natural” flavor it had to have started out as certain living things such as – bark, meat or yeast – but substances that are living like bacteria DO NOT make the cut – whew! They also define artificial flavors as compounds that do not originate from the “natural” flavors list.

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They use a banana flavoring as an example. Isoamyl Acetate is a compound used to elude to banana flavoring, it is also in actual bananas so it deemed a natural flavor. The artificial approach to this would be Amyl Alcohol, Sulfuric Acid and vinegar to create the same Isoamyl Acetate. It’s the same compound, but it’s the method in which it was made that categorizes it as natural or artificial flavors.

Check out some other interesting facts about what exactly you are tasting in the video below.

Source and Images: SciShow