Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings

When you chug a sports drink or chew a stick of gum, you probably don’t think of science. But there is a precise science – and a delicate art – behind what you’re tasting. CBS 60 Minutes‘ Morley Safer reports on the multibillion dollar flavor industry, whose scientists create natural and artificial flavorings that make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more.

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The flavoring industry is the enabler of the food processing business – which depends on it to create a craving for everything from soda pop to chicken soup. It is Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory as a multibillion dollar industry; an industry cloaked in secrecy.

All flavors are combinations of chemicals – artificial flavors are largely man-made. Check out those nutritional panels on the back of food packages! Natural flavors come from nature, but not necessarily from what the label implies. For example, raspberry or strawberry and vanilla flavor can come from beavers’ anal glands!

Read the entire transcript here.