Thursday, April 05, 2007


We were honoured to be invited by Firmenich to have a discussion on foodpairing with one of their scientists; François Benzi. He is without doubt the scientist with the most expertise on this topic.

In one of the first Erice meeting (history MG) he was walking in the garden and smelled jasmin. Jasmin for a flavorist is indole. He was thinking where do I find else indole; in porc liver. Why don't we combine those two. They did and it worked perfect.

Some years later Heston Blumenthal was experimenting with salty ingredients and chocolate (salt deminishes the bitterness) and while doing he combined caviar and chocolate, which appeared to fit perfectly together. He contacted François Benzi to have a look at it. And looking at the flavour components François found that both contained trimethylamines. So a hypothesis popped up that you can pair two foods if they have major flaovur components in common.

To demonstrate François Benzi let us smell some flavours like methyl hexanoate. This flavour you find a lot in pineapple, but also in blue cheese. So blue cheese and pineapple will combine nice together.
So you have to look for food that contains the main flavour components in common.

Databases you can consult on these theme are VCF, flavournet.
While communicating with Martin Lersch and Sang Hoon it appears that also the number of flavour components in common is also an important indicator.

For example sauerkraut and chocolate have more than 50% of their flavour components in common and kiwi and oyster 40%.
Other insights of foodpairing will follow and within the next months we will launch a new website dedicated to foodpairing. Stay tunned for that!

[+ firmenich]

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