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Postcards from the Bench

Flavorist Collaboration

December 2018 | Sam, Principal Flavor Chemist

Chemists, or to be more precise flavorists, from the McCormick Technical Innovation Center (TIC) in Maryland and Giotti in Italy discussed how they share expertise across continents and are learning to work better together in a new exchange program. 

Sam Tharpe, a Principal Flavor Chemist working in Maryland, traveled to Italy this past June to work with Lorenzo Francia, a Senior Flavorist, and his colleagues at Giotti. As part of the McCormick Flavor Solutions family since 2016, Giotti is a leader in innovative flavor extraction and development. For a month Sam worked alongside Lorenzo and his colleagues, learning about the best practices used in his labs and offices. The two worked together to develop flavor profiles and were able to collaboratively come to solutions using both their American and Italian skillsets. As a result of this experience, both learned new techniques to pass on to other colleagues and established a collaborative partnership. 

At the end of Sam’s time in Italy, he was able to take back key learnings about technology and communication between countries. From a technical perspective, he was exposed various flavor and extraction methods, analytical techniques and learning tools - such as a pen that holds molecules to educate customers and colleagues about flavor. He also learned that he can make simple improvements to how he and other US colleagues communicate to make it easier for their counterparts overseas. Using webcams helps everyone better follow conversations by picking up on non-verbal cues and facial expressions. Also, speaking slowly and concisely helps everyone better communicate and makes meetings more efficient. 

Experiencing Italy’s culinary landscape was an essential part of Sam’s trip. On the heels of his experience, Sam took back the inspiration for the rest of his team to develop and commercialize Italian inspired flavors. Italy is of course known for its coffee culture and espresso is a distinct drink of choice. Taking inspiration from true Italian espresso, a “delizioso” natural flavor was created. Also, taking a que from local libations, a natural lemon flavor with the profile of limoncello, using a blend of essential oils was developed. Lastly, a bitters Negroni flavor was created using a blend of essential oils along with classic botanicals, inspired by the iconic Italian apéritif.

To sample any of these natural flavors and apply to your applications, contact your McCormick account representative or contact us today.