From the simplest nursery rhyme to the grandest concerto, every piece of music is composed of only twelve notes.

The composer’s skill in combining them in new and balanced ways is what turns them into masterpieces. Savory culinary compositions are similar. art of flavorA chef’s talent is in using the basic building blocks of flavor to craft something entirely new—that is music to the mouth. A single instrument is a joy to hear, but a symphony is an incredible experience.

Crafting Taste

The depth of the experience at a live performance is amazing — you can hear the pulse of the timpani, the high notes of the flutes, and the complex relationship between the strings. “Like music, truly memorable savory foods are composed of low, middle, and high notes,” says Dr. Shane McDonald, Principal Flavor Chemist of Kalsec. A truly delicious and memorable savory food is crafted by skillfully blending low, middle, and high notes and paying attention to their relative contribution to flavor. “A cooked onion flavor, for example, has low notes of sweetness and umami with middle notes of sulfurous onion, then finishes with caramelized brown notes layered on top,” said Kathryn Thamann, Assistant Scientist at Kalsec. “It is all quite complex, but that is what makes food so delicious!”

An Inside Look at Taste & Sensory Solutions

This was an excerpt from the premiere issue of Crafting Taste, a new online publication from Kalsec. To continue reading the full article where our scientists explain how to use the five basic tastes for the foundation of a food, middle notes for depth, and aroma to achieve the high notes in a symphony of flavorful foods, or to hear new insights from our chefs, scientists, sensory team, and more in how they craft Kalsec Taste & Sensory Solutions, check out the full publication below!

Crafting Taste Magazine cover

Crafting Taste

Read more inspiration from the culinary team at Kalsec.

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About the Authors

portrait of Shane McDonald, flavor expertShane McDonald has a PhD in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Certified Flavor Chemist and has been working in the flavor industry for over 25 years, mostly in savory flavors, reaction flavors, pungency, and flavor for beer. Shane has been at Kalsec for almost 14 years, and is currently Principal Flavor Chemist.

portrait of Kathryn Thamann, flavor expertKathryn Thamann has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a great love for food, which she uses together in her work at Kalsec as an Assistant Scientist in Taste & Sensory Solutions. She focuses on customer driven projects utilizing a wide cabinet of savory flavors and natural extracts in a variety of different applications while also exploring the science behind flavor chemistry.

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