The flavor industry’s role has become so influential in terms of food production. Children for example, prefer artificial flavors rather than the real thing. Marketing to children has become so important such that flavorists have increased their efforts in finding out what children like. “Taste tests” are being done constantly by flavor companies for kid’s focus groups where they pilot their new products.
Complicated and unpredictable flavors are found in fresh vegetables and fruits and when flavorists create additives for adults, they imitate nature as closely as possible. They do the opposite for kids food where sweetness is increased and bitterness gotten rid of. In fact, children flavors are twice as sweet as those meant for adults.
“Children’s expectation of a strawberry is completely different,” one flavorist says. “They want something that is strong and that has something like bubblegum notes.”
To make strawberry milkshake at home, you need : cream, ice, sugar, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. A fast food milkshake on the other hand contains: sugar, milkfat and nonfat milk, sweet whey, guar gum, high-fructose corn syrup, diglycerides and monoglycerides, sodium phosphate, cellulose gum, carrageenan, E129, citric acid and artificial strawberry flavor.
The artificial strawberry flavor happens to contain all these chemicals:
amyl butyrate, amyl acetate, amyl valerate, anisyl formate, anethol, benzyl isobutyrate, benzyl acetate, cinnamyl valerate, cinnamyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cognac essential oil, dipropyl ketone, diacetyl, ethyl butyrate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl lactate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl valerate, ethyl propionate, heliotropin, ionone, hydroxyphrenyl- 2-butanone (10% solution in alcohol), isobutyl butyrate, isobutyl anthranilate, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, lemon essential oil, methyl anthranilate, methyl cinnamate, methyl benzoate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl salicylate, methyl naphthyl ketone, mint essential oil, nerolin, neroli essential oil, neryl isobutyrate, phenethyl alcohol, orris butter, undecalactone, rum ether, vanillin, rose and solvent.So, the next time you order a strawberry milkshake, all you will be getting is a gloopy mixture of numerous additives that offer artificial strawberry flavor. Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation says that none of these ingredients used in fast foods bears a resemblance to the homemade version, that’s healthy.
The sweet taste you get comes from sweet whey, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. This shocking discovery was made by Eric on his new book Chew On This. The book tackles how fast food restaurants target children through advertising of their products. The book also reveals what an average strawberry milkshake is made of.
In 1975, a typical American drank only 120 litres of soft drinks. This number has doubled to 240 litres today. That is about over 500 340 ml cans per person. Toddlers too have not been left out. About 20% of children between the age of one and two take soft drinks in America daily.