Using flavours allows bakeries and other food manufacturers to create a wide range of innovative products with extended shelf lives. It also enables them to play with product aesthetics and be more precise and consistent in regards to taste.

Flavours can be used for fillings and icing as well as for the actual dough or pastry. They can also come in two distinct forms: Liquid or Spray Dried.

The main reasons that some bakeries choose to use spray dried flavours are because liquid flavours can interfere with the raising process in products that contain yeast and many do not react well to high temperatures. Notable exceptions are vanilla and chocolate which tolerate these high temperatures better than more exotic flavours.
Experienced flavour manufacturers should be able to advise their customers on how bake stable certain flavours are likely to be if in liquid form. Larger suppliers are also able to create custom flavours and work with specifications depending on the products that the flavours are going to be used for. A good indicator of a manufacturer’s level of expertise is certification by bodies such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which certifies and grades vendors.

This advanced technology has seen an increase in flavour innovation. Here are some of the top flavours requested by bakeries and their characteristics and applications, including how they are used by other types of food manufacturers.

  • Vanilla – This sounds straightforward. However, the humble vanilla actually allows expert flavourists to express themselves in a variety of different ways. For example, Quest offers our customers a wide range of options, from beany to sweet and creamy to buttery with everything in between.
  • Caramel – This is another versatile flavour with several different profiles, including burnt, creamy, rich and vanilla. In fact this versatility has allowed bakers, chefs and food manufacturers to create really innovative desserts and drinks that incorporate caramel in different ways. In fact, from 2009 – 2014, there was a 91% increase of caramel flavoured dishes in restaurants. Examples of how the different profiles of caramel can be used in non-bakery items are illustrated in products like Chocolate Brownie Burnt Caramel Cream Flavoured Candy from Taiwan, juxtaposed with Old Orchard’s Limited Edition Caramel Apple Flavored Juice Drink in the United States.
  • Almond – This flavour pairs well with chocolate and coconut. Almond can also be used instead of vanilla extract to offer a subtle change in taste for traditional pastries and cakes. Nuts and seeds consumption is forecast to grow at CAGR of 4.7% between 2018 and 2024, and as such these flavours in desserts and baked goods is likely to continue growing in popularity.
  • Golden Syrup – This is a popular option for vegans as a honey substitute and also much cheaper than using honey. It is often used for items such as treacle tarts, flapjacks and cookies, as well as being a great flavour to use with banana bread.
  • Condensed milk – Sweetened condensed milk is used to make dulce de leche, a popular flavour in Spain. Dulce de leche has now made its way into desserts across the world, with dulce de leche cakes being particularly well received.

These are just a few flavours that are often requested, with more listed below. However, as can be seen in the descriptions, nuance is everything with flavours. Quest has a dedicated NPD team and an accredited lab that can both work on exotic new flavours and also tweak existing flavours to match customer specifications.

  • Bunspice
  • Hot x bun
  • Toffee
  • Blueberry
  • Lemon
  • Cherry
  • Coconut
  • Maple
  • Coffee cream
  • Chocolate brownie
  • Praline
  • Raisin