The Alluring Aroma of Vanilla in Chocolate: An Industry Perspective
Chocolate is prepared from the fermented and roasted seeds of the fruit of theTheobroma cacaotree. Although the characteristic flavor of chocolate originates from the cocoa bean, the addition of vanillin or vanillin containing products, such as vanilla extract, provides an important nuance to chocolate flavor that is a key factor driving consumer preference in both milk and dark chocolates. This presentation will highlight some analytical methodologies employed to quantitate vanillin in chocolate products and their application in flavor research. In addition, some of the challenges that are faced by the chocolate industry regarding the substitution of artificial vanillin with vanillin from a natural source, and some potential areas of opportunity for the development of affordable "natural" vanillin will be discussed.
Melissa Foley is a Flavor Chemist for Mars Global Chocolate Science and Technology. Within the Flavor Research group at Mars, her work focuses on characterizing and quantifying aroma and taste active compounds in chocolate and other confectionary products using a variety of state of the art analytical techniques.Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lafayette College which she earned in 2012, and is currently pursuing a masters in Food Science through Rutgers University.