What are Flavoring Extracts and Emulsions?

Flavor of the Month, Year and Decade

There is one attribute to food and beverages on which consumers never want to compromise. No matter the trends, diets or habits of anyone, flavor is always of the utmost importance.

Producers, obviously, know this, which is why marketing for a healthy snack always mentions the fact it still tastes as good or better than its competitors. Consumers want to eat healthy, but they also want to enjoy the taste of what they’re eating and drinking. If they’re going to be talked into trading one food for another, they need to be assured they’re not missing out on taste.

At Bremer, we understand the importance of flavor. With our inventory of stock flavor extracts and emulsions, with the ability to create custom flavors, we work to understand everything you need to give your customers the savory tastes they crave.


Flavor Extracts vs. Flavor Emulsions

There are two main types of flavoring ingredients: flavor extracts and flavor emulsions. What’s the difference? And why might you use one instead of the other?

The main difference lies in where the flavor compounds are suspended. A flavor extract uses a 35% (approximate) alcohol solution to suspend the flavor compounds. A flavor emulsion suspends the flavor compounds in water and vegetable gum.

One of the most common flavor extracts to a regular household is vanilla extract. Suspending the vanilla flavor compounds in alcohol is a smart choice for the end user because it is rare anyone would use that much vanilla extract at once. Because alcohol is a tremendous flavor solvent and preservative, many households benefit from the long-lasting and flavorful vanilla extract.

A downside to extracts is the volatility of alcohol. Because it’s volatile, it evaporates fast, but as the alcohol evaporates, it takes some of the flavor and smells with it.

By comparison, flavor emulsions use the gooey mix of water and vegetable gum, which don’t evaporate nearly as quickly as alcohol and thus better retain essential oils during baking. Some people prefer emulsions and the more robust flavor, whereas others believe it can be overwhelming.

Depending on the type of flavor and size of production, an extract or an emulsion may be the right choice for you. Contact us to discuss options we always have in stock or to develop a custom flavor specifically for your products.