A flavorist, also known as flavor chemist, is someone who uses both chemistry and art to engineer artificial and natural flavors. The tools and materials used by flavorists are almost the same as that used by perfumers with the exception that flavorists seek to mimic or modify both the taste and smells of various food products rather than creating just abstract smells. As well ,the materials and chemicals that flavorist utilize for flavor creation must be safe for human consumption.

Flavorists, as profession, came about when affordable refrigeration for the home spurred a major growth of food processing technology. Processes used in the food industry to provide safe products often affect the quality of the flavor of the food. To the detriment of the consumer these technologies remove most of the naturally occurring flavors. To remedy the flavor loss the food processing industry turned to the flavor industry who had vast experience with aromas and food systems. The chemists that tackled the demand of the food processing industry became known as flavorists and thus the flavor industry was born.


Educational requirements for the profession known as flavorist are varied. Flavorists have had little or no formal education to PhD's obtained in subjects such as Biochemistry and Chemistry. However because the training of a flavorist is mostly done on-the-job and specifically at a Flavor companies known as a flavor house, this training is similar to the apprentice system known in trades.

In France at Versailles, ISIPCA French School offers 2 years of high standard education in food flavoring including 12 months traineeship in Flavor companies. This education program provides students with solid background in flavor formulation, flavor application and flavor chemistry (analysis and sensory).

The British Society of Flavourists together with Reading University provide, every year, a 3 weeks flavourist training course for junior flavourists from all around the world.

Flavorist Society

In the United States a flavorist can join the Society of Flavor Chemists that meet in New Jersey, Cincinnati and the West Coast 5-6 times a year. To be an apprentice flavorist in the society one must pass an apprenticeship within a flavor house for 5 years. To be a certified member with voting rights, they must pass a 7 year program. Each level is verified by an oral test of the Membership/Certification Committee. An alternative to training under a flavorist as in the above two cases a 15 year independent option is available.

In UK, a flavourist can join The British Society of Flavourists that meets near the London area. To be a fellow, applicants must be sponsored by at least two voting members, shall not be under thirty years of age and shall have been engaged as a Creative Flavourist for a period of at least ten years. To be an associate member, applicants shall be either a) a full-time Creative Flavourist with at least four years experience; or b) a Flavour Application Chemist or Food Technologist responsible for flavor blending, assessment and evaluation for a period of at least five years; or c) a person of such standing in the flavor-producing or using industries as satisfies the Membership Committee that he/she is eligible for membership. An Associate Member must be proposed by two voting members. To be a student member, the applicant shall be a new entrant to the flavor industry, not yet able to qualify as an Associate and must be proposed by one voting member. To be an affiliate members applicants may be Technical and Marketing Consultants, Commercial and Technical Managers having a direct relationship to the flavoring industry and must be sponsored by three voting members.

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