Classification of food and flavour and its usage

Classification of food and flavour and its usage

Food and Flavors are classified into three major categories:-

  1. Natural Flavours 
    • Herbs- Basil, mint                                       
    • Spices- Cardamon, clove, turmeric
    • Aromatic Seeds- Anissed, Cumin           
    • Fruits- Orange, Lemon  
    • Vegetables- Pees, Onions, Garlic               
  2. Processed Flavour
    • Caramelized
    • Roasted
    • Fermented
    • Toasted
    • Baked
  3. Added Flavour
    • Natural Extracted Flavour
      • Essential Oil
      • Essence
      • Extracts
    • Synthetic Flavour
      • Fruit Flavour
      • Savoury Flavour

Natural Flavours              

  • They are usually extremely complex mixtures of many different substances. Sometimes the food and flavour of natural flavouring agent may depend upon a single substance. Eg:- Clove oil flavour is because of chemical eugenol. It contributes 85% of clove oil.
  • Or it may be present in extremely small amounts such as citral in oil of lemon which constitutes 5% of the oil.
  • Natural flavouring agents are compound of mainly aromatic organic compounds present as volatile essential oils or as non-volatile constituents.  Such as resins and oleoresins. They are formed in the plant during normal plant metabolism and remains as such the plant is harvested.
  • The aroma of onion, garlic, cabbage is mainly due to Sulphur-containing compounds.
  • The flavour and aroma of fruits and vegetables are because of the presence of volatile organic chemicals such as esters, aldehydes, acids, alcohols, ketones and ether present as essential oils in natural foods.
food and flavour

Processed Flavour

  • The flavour that develops during processing by decompositions, the combination with other compounds, or formation of a new compound.
  • The following flavours form during processing of various foods.
  • Flavour due to enzyme action

Vegetable cuts (onions, garlic)……………. Odour is because of formation of diallyl disulfide.

  • Flavour produced by microbiological action during fermentation of sugar.


   Eg-           sugar ——-yeast——>>alchohol



  • Flavour formed during cooking and other heat processing.
    Eg:- cooked meat flavour, aroma of freshly baked bread or roasted  Coffee beans
  • Undesirable flavours caused oxidation eg: rancidity of oil.

Added Flavour

  • Natural flavour or synthetic flavours are often added to food to increase its acceptability.
  • Role of added flavours has gained importance with advancement in technology being used in food industry and development of new products such as bakery and confectionary items, ready to eat foods, beverage ad fast food items.
  • The flavour which is lost during cooking and processing can be replaced by either of the following methods
    • Adding natural flavourings and extracts:– Eg:- Natural essence from fruits, essential oils extracted from spices, Vanilla essence is prepared by extracting the essential oil from vanilla pod with the channel.
  • Adding synthetic flavours that consist of a blend of chemical which smells like the original substances Eg:-  Vanillin is the synthetic flavour instead of vanilla.
  • Synthetic chemicals are blended to match a natural flavour.
  • Other substances which contribute towards the flavour of food are sweeteners and flavour enhances

SWEETENERS-  Sweeteners used can be

(i) Natural Sweeteners

  • Carbohydrate sweeteners    
  • Nutritive Sweeteners 

(ii) Artificial Sweeteners

  • Synthetic Sweeteners
  • Non-Nutritive
  • They do not provide calories                                                                                       

Sugar is added to savoury dishes in minute amounts to improve the flavour of the dish.

Flavour Enhancer

  • They are chemicals which by themselves have little or no odour or taste.
  • When they are added to food, even in small quantities. They bring out flavour of the food.
  • That us they are capable of enhancing, modifying, or intensifying the original flavour.

The following chemicals are used as flavour enhancers

Monosodium glutamate(MSG)

  • Also called as aji-no-moto or Chinese salt
  • It is sodium salt of glutamic acid.
  • Glutamic acid is present in many foods, its content decreases during harvesting to processing to processing causing a natural loss of flavour.
  • This can be partly restored by adding MSG to food.
  • It draws out the hidden flavour  of food and reduces the less desirable flavours.
  • MSG increases salivation and its excessive consumtion leads to a condition known as “Chinese restaurant Syndrome” in which people suffer from various symptoms such as a burning sensation, migraine like symptoms and chest pain
  • It is used a flavour intensifier in soups, sauces, gravies, taste maker and flavourings.


  • They are used as flavour enhancers.
  • They are 500 to 100 times stronger than  MSG
  • MSG & nucleotides are ideally used together in the ratio of 1:50.
  • 1g of nucleotides is used with 50g of MSG.
  • It is used in processed foods such as potato, chips, peanuts, dry and canned soups, sauces, ketchups etc.


  • Used as a flavour enhancer for sweet flavours
  • It is found in several plants and is formed when cocoa, coffee, and malt are roasted and in bread when it is baked.
  • It is synthesized from soyabean proteins fermentation and used as a fragrant, caramel flavour addition of fruit based products.
  • Also used in cookies, beverages, in instant pudding mix.


  • It is used on food for its flavour, as a preservative and as a dietary constituent.
  • Main role is for salty taste, flavour intensification and as a digestive stimulant.

Sodium Restricted Flavouring

  • Herbs, spices like pepper, dry mustard, paprika, used when salt is restricted in diet.
  • Salt substances are salt which does not contain sodium but contain potassium or ammonium.

Spices and herbs contribute natural flavour to foods in which they are used or added to. They are used to enhance the flavor of the food. The flavour is due to essential oils and other flavour components present in the plants. Herbs are the leaves of fresh or dried plants, while spices may be the aromatic part of plants, usually dried buds, fruits roots, bark. they both have nutritive and medicinal properties and are used in cuisines all over the world. common herbs- basil, bay leaf, curry leaves, mint, oregano, parsley, thyme. Common spices- ajwain, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, mango powder, turmeric.

Use of Flavour in Food Preprations

  • Retaining the natural flavour while processing is an art. An understanding of volatile and non-volatile flavours is necessary for a chef.
  • Flavour are often lost when food becomes stale, and off flavour develop.
  • Processing of food results in both development of flavours and loss of flavour.
  • Different processes and ingredients used give different flavours to food.
  • These flavours can be altered, modified or intensified by the ise of flavouring a

Flavourings agents are widely used in the food industry to :

  1. Enhance a good flavour –eg: addition of chocolate essences to chocolate cake.
  2. Replace flavour lost while processing food.
  3. Give particular flavour to food.
  4. Mask some undesirable flavour in order to increase acceptability of food.

Eg:- adding essence to egg not to mask the egg flavour. 

Food stuffFlavouring agent
GarlicDiallyl disulfide

Flavor in different foods-

  • Tannin- A mixture of strong astringent acids found in plants, particularly tea leaves, red Grape skins and the bark of trees. It has the ability to coagulate proteins and is Responsible for the keeping quality of fine red wines.
  • Tannic acid- One of the acids in tannin used for flavoring and as a clarifying agent in beer, Wine, cider, and other brewed drinks.
  • Caffeine- Coffee owes its characteristic flavor to caffeine although by itself caffeine without Its aroma has a faint bitter taste. Coffee also contains alkaloids, volatile aromatic Products and substances belonging to the phenolic series. It stimulates the central Nervous system. The composition of coffee is – 15.30%-nitrogenous substances, 11.40%-fatty matter, 70-2%-caffeine.
  • Capsaicin-contained in chilies and is responsible for their fiery is an oily Substance insoluble in water. The heat of the chilly is measured in Sackville units.
  • Sin grin – is present in raw cabbage, which in the presence of heat is converted to Isothiocyanate and ultimately to hydrogen supplied- a strong unpleasant smelling Compound. Therefore cabbage should be cooked for a short time, covered with a Lid.
  • Alcohol- wine has alcohol which refers to a potable liquid containing ethyl Alcohol (C6H5OH) it denotes a class of organic compounds distinguished by the Presence of hydroxyl group. Alcohol is produced as a result of fermentation.


Condiments are aromatic substances added to food to improve its flavor.
The term “seasoning “is applied to substances which are added at the time of cooking While “condiments” apply to those added at the table to food already prepared.

Condiments are classified according to their dominant flavors:-

1. Acid- vinegar, lemon juice
2. Bitter (aromatic) – pepper, paprika
3. Bitter- garlic, shallot, wheels onion, spring onion, leeks
4. Fat- oil, butter, fats
5. Readymade condiments –English sauces (Worcestershire, Harvey) ketchups, curry  Powders, prepared mustards, soy sauce etc. 6. Salt condiments-sodium chloride, sea salt
7. Sweet condiments-sugar, honey.

You can Also check Principles of Food preservation

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

Latest Articles


Energy conservation measures for Hotel Industry DO’S AND DONT’S FOOD &...

Organization of Banquet Department

Banquet organization structure             ...

Types of Meringues

There are three types of meringue; their differences lie...

Additives and preservatives used in Ice-cream manufacture

 As ice creams move down the scale from premium,...

Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures The Ice sculpture is the highlight of any...

Function of menu

Menu is a very important tool for the operation...

Related Articles


Energy conservation measures for Hotel Industry DO’S AND DONT’S FOOD & BEVERAGE DEPARTMENT This department consumes approximately 25% of the total energy cost so the opportunities to...

Organization of Banquet Department

Banquet organization structure             ...

Types of Meringues

There are three types of meringue; their differences lie in when and how the sugar is added: French Meringue This uncooked meringue is the one most...