3.Food flavors

The creation and use of vanilla
1.What is curing process?

Glucovanillin, a vanillin precursor formed during the ripening of the vanilla fruit, is enzymatically converted to glucose and vanillin. The longer a bean vine-ripens, the more concentrated the vanillin and other flavor compounds are after curing. Higher vanillin indicates higher bean quality, which impacts the beans' market value. Beans left on the vine split and decrease in quality. Curing should begin within a week after harvest.
The curing process varies among growing regions and many bean curers use a combination of techniques, yet all curing methods involve four phases that directly affect the amount of vanillin and other flavor components in the beans:
  • Wilting or killing of the beans stops their respiration. Heat is applied to the pods either by letting them sun-dry, as in the traditional Mexican method, or by submersing them in hot water for several minutes, as in the Bourbon process.
  • Sweating the wilted beans involves rapid dehydration and slow fermentation to develop key flavor components. The beans are alternately sun-dried during the day and wrapped in boxes at night for several weeks until the beans acquire a deep chocolate-brown color.
  • Drying the beans very slowly at low temperatures results in a final moisture level of about 20% to 25%. Over-drying or rapid drying reduces flavor quality. In the past, Indonesians used wood fires to accelerate the drying process, which causes the beans to develop a smoky aroma and flavor.
  • Conditioning is an aging process necessary for flavor development that involves placing the dried beans into closed boxes for several months.

New way to deliver flavor
2.What are the functions of encapsulation?

Encapsulation can protect flavors from ingredients and conditions like heat, moisture and acidity that cause them to degrade. The flavors exhibit increased shelf life in the food product and better delivery when it is consumed. It can block flavor components from reacting with other ingredients in the product matrix, such as certain aldehydes and aspartame. It can provide a means of controlled delivery, so that the flavor releases at a certain point: during microwaving, during reconstitution, during chewing.