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The taste and color: how manufacturers in the US are experimenting with additives and dyes in food


Source: with the BBC

The modern chemical industry can add any flavor or color to anything - food flavor enhancers have become increasingly popular lately.

Фото: Depositphotos

Some components that are part of ordinary foods simply cannot fail to impress, Veronica Greenwood writes for Air force. Have you heard, for example, about purple carrot juice?

I'm sure you don't often buy purple carrots, and perhaps never thought about its existence at all. I once asked a farmer in our local market which carrots are sweeter: orange or purple? And he, without hesitation, answered: "Orange".

Obviously, a more natural color was for him and more delicious. But the purple carrot, which owes its strange color to the anthocyanin pigment, has other important advantages.

Anthocyanin is found in blueberries, black rice, and even the fall foliage of some trees. It acts as an antioxidant, slowing oxidation, thanks to which it is actively used in the food industry.

Another advantage of ATOCIAN is the rich color it gives to food. In the UK and the EU, these pigments are allowed to be used as food dyes.

Depending on their origin and chemical composition, anthocyanins can dye products in red, blue or purple. These natural dyes are used in products that, at first glance, have nothing to do with carrots. Scientists are experimenting by adding purple carrot juice or Peruvian berry to yogurt B. Boliviana.

Researchers grow purple corn and also found that purple dye gives milk an attractive bright shade.

On another substitution, you probably suspect if you once read the labels on exotic fruit juices. The basis of most of them, as a rule, is plain apple or grape juice. British organization Which?, which protects the rights of consumers, published a report in 2012 year in which it noted that mango and passion fruit smoothies are brand Tesco contain 47% apple juice, 23% mango puree and 4% passion fruit puree. Cheap juices can easily be given an exotic and expensive taste.

Фото: Depositphotos

Today the guidelines for what a product label should contain have changed. EU legislation requires that “the name of a product should consist of a list of fruits used in it, in descending order of the amount of juice and puree in its composition”.

Thus, drinks made from lychee, passionfruit, mango and other exotic fruits, which contain a large amount of apple juice, should be called accordingly - “Apple and mango juice”.

(Tests have shown that passionfruit skins, which are high in fiber, can be added to yoghurts, allowing them to be marketed as “probiotic.” Sometimes exotic ingredients are added to perfectly normal foods just for advertising.)

However, all of these substitutions and disguises can also serve a more interesting purpose - trying to reproduce an elusive and complex taste, decomposing it into understandable ingredients. For example, a flavor enhancer can be added to orange juice, which will even more convincingly tell the consumer: "This is an orange."

As Alissa Hamilton, author of Fresh Squeezed, explains in an interview The New Yorker“Companies that produce fragrances and flavors - the same ones that create elite perfumes - decompose orange essence and oils into their constituent substances, and then combine them in configurations that cannot be found in nature.”

“Among the chemicals that are added in large doses to orange juice sold in North American markets is ethyl butyrate. The taste experts found that it gives the drink a flavor that Americans love and reminds them of a freshly squeezed orange. ”

However, artificially creating a universal taste, it turns out, is not so simple. Many years ago, a confectionery company Jelly Belly has developed a pumpkin pie-flavored jelly candy recipe. The company specializes in producing quite original tastes.

Several years ago, the vice president of the company Lisa Brasher asked me: “When you say pickled cucumber, what taste do you mean - sweet or rather dill? “Are potato chips regular or barbecue flavored? These are very important questions for us ”.

Фото: Depositphotos

Pumpkin Pie is one of the staples that Americans make for Thanksgiving and is associated with personal memories in every family. However, sweets with such a taste turned out to be too original and did not evoke the desired associations.

Family memories are very personal. The sweets had to be taken out of production. However, in 2014 they were brought back to the market as a seasonal offer. This time, the company has carefully thought out the advertising of sweets, focusing on the uniqueness of individual taste preferences: “Each family has its own pumpkin pie recipe, and the family Jelly Belly he is there too ”.

Now, when you try a probiotic yogurt, drink orange juice or purple milk, if it does appear on the market, pay attention to the flavorings. Whether we like it or not, food chemistry has long entered our lives. And we can only wonder at the ingenuity of its manufacturers.

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