Pp. 154-172 (19)
Mahalingam Jeyakumar and Kasi Pandima Devi
Food flavors are chemicals that are added to food to enhance their smell and
taste. Many of the food additives used by the food industries occur naturally in food
that people consume each day. The flavors used by our ancestors were mostly isolated
from the natural sources; however, since there was only limited supply, the food
industries started using nature-identical and synthetic flavors as an alternative to the
natural one. The sodium salt of glutamic acid, which is called Monosodium glutamate
(MSG) is a flavor enhancer found naturally in tomato, parmesan cheese, and sardines in
significant quantities and it is also produced synthetically. The synthetically produced
MSG is one of the best food flavour enhancers used in many types of foods in the
world, which are added during the different stages of foods for improving the taste,
smell and shelf life. Though many flavor enhancers or food potentiators are considered
to be safe, they are voluntarily discontinued to be used in baby foods, as a precaution.
The current review discusses the types, uses and properties of the flavor enhancers
commonly used in foods.
Food additives, Food industry, Flavour enhancers, Health effects,
Maximum usage level.
Department of Biotechnology, Alagappa University, Karaikudi 630 003, Tamil Nadu, India.