Agilent Helps Candy Taste Better

This weekend, as millions of children (and some of us adults) go out trick-or-treating to celebrate Halloween, rest assured that Agilent is helping to make your candy taste better.

You’re probably not surprised to hear that the food industry puts a lot of work into making candy taste as irresistible as possible.  You may be surprised, though, to learn how much sheer chemistry is involved in this work.

Food scientists study properties such as flavor release and flavor perception.  They study how different food constituents (such as fat and salt) and food structures (such as solubility and consistency) affect flavor release and its interaction with saliva and taste buds.  Hard candy is a unique food system due to its structure of simple sugars and its abundance of flavor compounds.

Food scientists in Pennsylvania used an Agilent gas chromatograph and column to analyze the interactions between various flavor compounds in hard candies, in order to determine their effect on overall flavor delivery.  In a similar study, they used Agilent instruments to analyze the interactions between flavor compounds and flavor solvents in hard candies.

Agilent also helps to ensure the safety of candy.  Food scientists used an Agilent Infinity LC and column to test the health effects of neocandenatone, a newly developed purple food coloring derived from the heartwood of trees.  And for chocoholics, Agilent J&W columns are used to ensure that harmful carcinogens are not introduced into chocolates, peanuts and other foods during the roasting process.

Happy Halloween, everyone.  Stay safe out there!

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