Advances In Food Science: Beyond Basic Gas Chromatograph Analysis

It’s pretty common knowledge that your sense of smell affects your sense of taste. After all, we’ve all had those moments where we had a cold and we could neither smell nor taste what should have been delicious food. Unfortunately, although we understand that basic principle, it’s been difficult for food scientists and chefs to make use of it in any sophisticated way. This article on Popular Science talks about taking the analysis a bit further.

Traditionally, scientists have made use of a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer to quantify the components of an aroma, but they haven’t been able to determine the precise connection between the chemistry of something vs. what’s actually giving it the flavor we perceive. Current methods of studying the connection between flavor and smell are rooted in a combination of technology and good old-fashioned human sniffers. Granted, they’re better sniffers than the average person (most are fragrance professionals), but still, it’s always interesting to see when we hit upon the limits of technology and bring in subjective human data on topics that might seem like purely black and white issues.  What do you think?

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