Flavorfacts.org is your resource for information about flavors, flavor ingredients, and their safety. Flavors have been safely added to the foods and beverages we enjoy for hundreds of years, and today’s flavor industry is committed to the continued safety of its ingredients.
What Is Flavor?
Flavor refers to a lot more than simply what something tastes like. Flavor is the entire range of sensations that we perceive when we eat a food or drink a beverage. Flavor encompasses a substance’s taste, smell, and any physical traits we perceive in our mouths, such as “heat” (for example, cinnamon) or “cold” (for example, spearmint).
But flavor is even more than that. Flavor is memory—of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, of the feeling of refreshment when drinking a soft drink on a hot day, or of a warm pumpkin pie on the holiday table. Flavor is discovery—the first time you taste a Caribbean spiced potato chip, sharing a new tropical fruit flavor of ice cream with your children, or enjoying a new Asian-focused dish at your favorite local restaurant. Flavor is variety—a new twist on mom’s macaroni & cheese, or a new herbed mustard on a ham sandwich. Flavors make life interesting.