Flavorings are focused on altering or enhancing the flavors of natural food product such as meats and vegetables, or creating flavor for food products that do not have the desired flavors such as candies and other snacks. Most types of flavorings are focused on scent and taste. Few commercial products exist to stimulate the trigeminal senses, since these are sharp, astringent, and typically unpleasant flavors.
There are three principal types of flavorings used in foods, under definitions agreed in the E.U. and Australia:
- Natural flavoring substances: Flavoring substances obtained from plant or animal raw materials, by physical, microbiological or enzymatic processes. They can be either used in their natural state or processed for human consumption, but cannot contain any nature-identical or artificial flavoring substances.
- Nature-identical flavoring substances: Flavoring substances that are obtained by synthesis or isolated through chemical processes, which are chemically identical to flavoring substances naturally present in products intended for human consumption. They cannot contain any artificial flavoring substances.
- Artificial flavoring substances: Flavoring substances not identified in a natural product intended for human consumption, whether or not the product is processed.