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I recently purchased a bottle of Cheddar Cheese flavouring (product link here) hoping to use it in pasta. The product description says it is apt for pasta. However, it has a strong sweetish smell which feels very unpleasant. What can be the reason for it?

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    It may be the propylene glycol. It's the first item on the list of ingredients. It's often used as a carrier for artificial flavourings/extracts But propylene glycol tastes sweet, so that's possibly what's causing it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 12, 2021 at 14:49
  • @Billy Kerr Interesting. Is there a way to somehow evaporate it or something leaving behind just the flavour?
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 12, 2021 at 15:00
  • I think if you try evaporating it you will probably also evaporate or destroy the flavouring. Propylene glycol boils at 188C or 370F, which is considerably higher than water. If you are doing this to avoid dairy produce, then maybe look at other alternatives such as nutritional yeast which tastes somewhat cheesy, or perhaps some kind of fermented tofu product, or vegan cheese product.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 12, 2021 at 15:57

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The aroma of a highly concentrated flavoring can be distinctly different from the taste it provides when used in food at a reasonable concentration. The only way to know if it'll taste weirdly sweet (or weird in other ways) in pasta is to use it in pasta.

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  • I had added it in instant noodles and it had that sweet flavour.
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 12, 2021 at 13:07
  • That sounds pretty different from how you're meant to use it (in dough, rather than in sauce). Nevertheless, if that's what you want to use it for, you have your answer.
    – Sneftel
    Nov 12, 2021 at 13:19
  • So adding it in dough is supposed to mute its sweet flavour? Someone in the comments mentioned making mac and cheese with it.
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 12, 2021 at 13:39
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Propylene glycol is the first ingredient, and that ingredient has a notably sweet taste. It has a wide range of uses: from food (like your cheese flavoring product), to eye drops/artificial tears, to antifreeze.

Due to the sweet-ish taste, you'll probably need to counter that by adding some offsetting tastes to balance it out. Both salt and acid (like lemon juice) can help balance out sweetness, but you're definitely right to think that using it by itself will add sweetness

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