Fast Food Nation

It is a state of the art processing facility where

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Unformatted text preview: btle flavors, and microwave ovens do not easily coexist, the job of the flavorist is to conjure illusions about processed food and, in the words of one flavor company’s literature, to ensure “consumer likeability.” The flavorists with whom I spoke were charming, cosmopolitan, and ironic. They were also discreet, in keeping with the dictates of their trade. They were the sort of scientist who not only enjoyed fine wine, but could also tell you the chemicals that gave each vintage its unique aroma. One flavorist compared his work to composing music. A well-made flavor compound will have a “top note,” followed by a “dry-down,” and a “leveling-off,” with different chemicals responsible for each stage. The taste of a food can be radically altered by minute changes in the flavoring mix. “A little odor goes a long way,” one flavorist said. In order to give a processed food the proper taste, a flavorist must always consider the food’s “mouthfeel” — the unique combination of textures and chemical interactions that affects how the flavor is perceived. The mouthfeel can be adjusted through the use of various fats, gums, starches, emulsi...
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