I was wondering how large-scale snack food producers are coming up with ingredient proportions that have the desired flavour profiles.

I understand that developing a certain flavour profile is a matter of adjusting the proportions between individual components, and later scaling it up to production batches, but my main question is is there any formal (scientific) method for deriving those proportions?

For the sake of the example, let's assume that my seasoning uses 5 spices {A, B, C, D, E}. I was thinking into splitting each spice into few percent increments and deriving all of the combinations but the sheer amount of possibilities makes this method not feasible.

2 Answers 2


Food manufacturers literally do test hundreds, or even thousands, of combinations in order to arrive at flavors like "Summer BLT Potato Chips". The chefs who create these are known as Research Chefs, and as many chefs are employed this way as work in restaurants.

Likely professional research chefs do have formulas and rules for creating flavors, but these would be closely guarded trade secrets -- especially since they have access to ingredients you couldn't easily find or wouldn't use, like flavor enhancers and emulsifiers.

If you want to get started down this road, though, I recommend reading The Flavor Bible.


There's no maths equations for taste.

Companies do a lot of R'n'D , they will come up with basic recipes for spice blends/seasonings and will adjust them after they do tasting groups.

Spices and herbs have distinct flavours, too much or too little will skew the balance of the seasonings.

It comes down to experience.

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