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View Diary: And never the twain shall meet (69 comments)

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  •  I supported Pepsi's research division way back... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and had never heard of a PhD in Flavor Science, or Flavor Technology, or Food Science, or several other food study disciplines until I worked there, and met some absolutely brilliant people.

    I don't drink soda really at all anymore, except for once or twice a year at a party or the remainder of the cola my wife opened to combat a migraine.  I hate HFCS and swear it turns my 5 yr old into some spawn of Satan whenever some slips past my guard..  However, there is interesting science, largely chemistry, that goes into everything.

    For example... a "ring test" tests how long it takes for the flavor oils of a product to separate.  I was instructed to not disturb one small pyramid of bottles laying on their side in a ring test... which had been underway for five years.

    I had no clue that an emulsifier kept flavor oils suspended uniformly throughout a can of soda...  
    (I suppose a food version of Corexit)..

    As for policy that affects food products: Some countries do not allow anything artificial to be used in anything sold as food... I was in Mexico a couple of years ago, and there was no HFCS in the soda. I remember anecdotal stories about formula modifications to gain approval in Japan.  

    And... way back then (late 80s) I learned that saving 5 cents in the manufacturing cost of one case of soda would translate into 3 or 5 million in extra profit.  This was before hfcs, which obviously cut the cost.

    I have to admit it was fun to occasionally try new products in plain silver cans left over from a pilot plant batch run... especially at a company soccer game when they were working on a sports drink and the plant manager added extra electrolytes.. (was it Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator?)

    Are flavor scientists nutritionists? Not really, but an incredible amount of science does go into any food product you don't pick yourself.  Sure, there will be corporate oversight if it's sponsored, but there might be useful info published.

    And, consider that it could be an avenue to communicate with the people working on the next version of the company's products.

    (I'm not a SB reader yet, and it's been 18 years since I worked there, and I'm sure all the excellent people I remember have moved on... and surely, if the blog posts are simply infomercials, then there'd be little value to them.)

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