Today we are going to talk about concentrated flavors and some of my favorites. As we all know, each flavor is going to differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, what some people do not know (or sometimes understand) is that a flavor from the same manufacturer will differ from batch to batch as well. Maybe they added a little less citric acid and a little more sucralose to a particular batch of your favorite lemon flavor. If you receive that specific batch then the normal lemon flavor with a bite that you are used will be more subtle and a little sweeter than usual. These changes are not always a result of error in manufacturing the flavor, but the manufacturer changing the recipe. All of these factors will play a part in the same flavor from batch to batch having a different smell, taste, and/or color.
When it comes to color, this can be largely impacted by the manufacturers’ use of synthetic chemical that may naturally exist in the fruit, spice, etc. or their use of synthetic chemicals that simply mimic those flavors or natural extracts directly from the flavor that they are trying to develop. For example, most artificial (synthetic) strawberry flavors are typically a light pink to clear, but a natural extract from real strawberries has a deep red color (unless they filter the color out through a charcoal filtering or similar process).
Now that we have cover some things related to concentrated flavor consistency, let’s talk about some of my favorite flavors. My favorite types of flavors are:
1. Peanut Butter
Hands down the best peanut butter flavor out there is Capella’s Peanut Butter if you are looking for the flavor to really stand out in your e-liquid. If you are looking for something a little more subtle then check out the peanut butter from The Flavor Apprentice (TFA).
For banana flavors, the first one that I tried was the Banana Cream from TFA and I never tried another one because I was hooked.
When it comes to strawberry flavors it really depends on what I’m looking for in my e-liquid. If I’m going for something sweet I go straight for the Sweet Strawberry from Capella, for something creamy I go for the Strawberries and Cream from TFA, and if I looking for a nice subtle flavor I use Strawberry (Ripe) from TFA.
I thought once upon a time that I would never find a vanilla custard as good as the one from Capella until TFA released theirs. It’s hard for me to really say one of them is better than the other because they are very comparable. I will say that I prefer the smell of the Vanilla Custard from TFA more.
Lastly, when it comes to cereal type flavors I believe there are only four worth mentioning. The Berry Crunch and Fruit Circles from TFA, and Apple Jacks and Captain Crunch from Flavor West.
I will leave you with this, remember that no two flavors or batches will be exactly the same and when it comes to finding a great (insert here) flavor is to try all the different options from each manufacturer because flavor are 100% subject to personal opinion.
By: Joshua Sheffield, Chemist/MIT