Flavorant or essence is defined as a substance that gives another substance flavor, altering the characteristics of the solute, causing it to become sweet, sour, tangy, etc. Of the three chemical senses, smell is the main determinant of a food item's flavor. While the taste of food is limited to sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory ( - the basic tastes) - the smells of a food are potentially limitless. A food's flavor, therefore, can be easily altered by changing its smell while keeping its taste similar. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in artificially flavored jellies, soft drinks and candies, which, while made of bases with a similar taste, have dramatically different flavors due to the use of different scents or fragrances .The food essence is appreciated across the globe for its natural aroma and purity. Due to the high cost or unavailability of natural flavor extracts, most commercial essences are nature-identical, which means that they are the chemical equivalent of natural flavors but chemically synthesized rather than being extracted from the source materials.
This is made in specific flavours like biscuit, honey, biryani, rose and used extensively in varied preparations.
Fruit essence is made use of in the preparation of confectionery items, beverages and sweets e.g. banana, apple, cherry, lemon essence.
Dry fruit essence
This essence of dry fruits finds diverse application in sweet as well as salty preparations of varied cuisines. This essence is natural aroma and purity and is available in the varieties such as Almond, Cashew, coconut, pista, nutmeg, etc.
Dairy food essence
Utilized in the dairy industry for enhancing the aroma of dairy products, such as butter, butterscotch, cheese flavours and essence
How to select
The essence should be food grade and lie in adherence to the international standards for food.
· Essence is used to predominantly flavour baked goods , beverages and ice creams
· This wonderful flavour compounds is useful anywhere you need a bit of flavour. They produce a distinct flavour in desserts and sauces.
· Essence is also a nice addition to cocoa and tea
· Use pure essence to flavor marinades, rice preparations, chutney, syrup and chocolate sauce. The essence can also be used to flavor vegetable dishes including sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli, and green beans.
· For a great depth of flavor, try layering a dish with both fresh ingredients along with an essence or flavour, such as freshly squeezed orange juice along with orange essence.
How to store
Store the essence in a dark coloured bottle in a cool dry place or may even refrigerate the same.
· Since essence are usually synthetic and produced to add flavours artificially, they do not contain any substantial health benefits.