A matter of taste.
The flavour of a foodstuff is determined by overall impression of its smell and taste. It comes about when the sensory organs in our mouth, nose and throat encounter flavouring substances.
Complex aromas have been shown to contain up to 800 substances affecting smell and taste, though our sensory organs' perceptions are determined by at most 30–50 substances. So far, roughly 5000 natural flavouring substances have been identified altogether.
The characteristic components of natural flavours are flavour extracts and natural flavouring substances. These are blended in different ratios according to requirements and product claims.
Natural flavouring substances are substances which occur naturally in the environment or in foodstuffs. They are made from vegetable- or animal-based raw materials. This may involve the use of defined food preparation processes, appropriate physical or enzymatic methods or microbial fermentation processes.
“Natural flavours” or “natural vanilla-type flavours” are produced by blending natural flavouring substances. “Natural vanilla flavour” consists of 95% extracts from the vanilla pod and may be rounded off with 5% other natural flavouring substances.
Natural flavours generally taste more like the real thing than artificial, i.e. chemically manufactured, flavours. However, the use of natural raw materials also makes them more expensive.
Since 2008, we at RITTER SPORT have used only natural flavours to round off the taste of our chocolate, for example vanilla-type flavour, which is, incidentally, the flavour most commonly used in chocolate production, as it is only the combination of cocoa and vanilla which gives chocolate its characteristic taste.