Blog / Exploring the World of Flavors, Extracts, and Emulsions

Exploring the World of Flavors, Extracts, and Emulsions

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Have you ever wondered what the differences are between flavors, extracts, and emulsions? They all seem to add flavor to our baked goods and desserts, but are they interchangeable?

Understanding the difference between emulsions, flavorings, and extracts is essential for any baker looking to take their recipes to the next level. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of each and when to use them in your baking endeavors. So, let's dive into the world of flavorings, extracts, and emulsions to enhance the taste of our baked goods and desserts.
vanilla bean and bowl of vanilla extract

Bakery Emulsions

different bakery emulsions lined up available at country kitchen sweetart Bakery flavoring emulsions are the preferred flavorings of professional bakers. They are made by combining water, natural and artificial flavors, and an emulsifier, which helps to blend flavors evenly together.

Unlike extracts, these flavor emulsions are water-based and have a more concentrated flavor. Since emulsions are water-based their flavor won’t bake out during the cooking process or weaken like alcohol-based flavorings. This makes them perfect for all baked goods and other high-heat applications like hard candy.

They are especially useful when you want to add a strong flavor without adding extra liquid, which can affect the texture of your baked goods. Bakery emulsions are also a great choice for those looking for an alcohol-free flavoring alternative.

What are some of the best uses for bakery emulsions?

  • Cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

  • Frostings and icings.

  • Whipped cream and other dairy products.

  • Coffee, tea, shakes, and smoothies.

  • Homemade ice cream and other frozen desserts.

  • Puddings and pie fillings

When shouldn't you use bakery emulsions?

Due to the water content in bakery emulsions, they are not a good choice for chocolate. Introducing water to chocolate and candy melts can cause seizing. Keep in mind that emulsions tend to be cloudy so use your best judgment whether to include them in recipes where clarity is important like gelatins, clear beverages, and candy.

Popular Bakery Emulsion Flavors

  • Almond Emulsion

  • Lemon Emulsion

  • Butter Vanilla Emulsion

  • Strawberry Emulsion

  • Raspberry Emulsion

Extracts & Flavorings

line-up of different flavorings and extracts available at country kitchen sweetart Many people wonder what's the difference between extracts and flavorings. Extracts are diluted with alcohol while most flavors use either propylene glycol or glycerin. As the name suggests, extracts are mostly used to extract flavor from ingredients (such as vanilla beans for vanilla extract).

There can be pure extracts, which use essential oils from raw materials mixed with the alcohol base, or imitation, which use artificial flavors or a mixture of natural and artificial. Both flavor extracts and flavorings can be made with either natural or artificial ingredients. Though natural and artificial differ in flavor and price, the two are interchangeable in recipes.

What are some of the best uses for extracts and flavorings?

  • Adding flavor to cakes, cookies, and muffins.

  • Enhancing the flavor of frostings and icings.

  • Adding flavor to whipped cream and other dairy products.

  • Beverages such as coffee, tea, and smoothies.

  • Homemade ice cream and other frozen desserts.

  • They are a great option for baking with minimal sugar and adding a hint of flavor to keto recipes.

Popular Extracts & Flavors

  • Creme Bouquet

  • Clear Vanilla Flavor

  • Butter Flavor

  • Almond Flavor

  • Lemon Extract

  • Cookie Nip Flavoring

Concentrated Flavors & Oils

line-up of different concentrated flavors and oils available at country kitchen sweetart Concentrated flavors (also known as Super-strength flavors) are very potent and should be used sparingly in order to achieve the desired effect. Unlike extracts, super-strength flavors and flavor oils are made from concentrated essential oils or artificial flavorings that are suspended in an oil or water base.

These flavor concentrates can provide a strong and intense flavor to recipes, making them a great choice for those looking to add a bold flavor. Concentrated flavors can be 3 to 4 times stronger than extracts or other flavors. If using a concentrated flavor in place of an extract, be sure to use 1/3 of what the recipe recommends.

What are some of the best uses for concentrated flavors and oils?

  • Adding flavor to hard candy and chocolate*.

  • Making fun flavors of gummies.

  • Enhancing the flavor of frostings and icings.

  • Flavoring sugar syrups, such as simple syrup or honey syrup.

  • Super-strength flavors are a great way to add intense flavor to homemade ice cream and other frozen desserts.

*We carry a large selection of LorAnn super-strength flavors and oils perfect for flavoring chocolate. Click to see a list of chocolate-safe flavors.

When shouldn't you use oil-based flavors?

Oil-based flavorings are not the best choice for flavoring beverages due to their water insolubility. They should not be used for flavoring royal icing and meringue.

Popular Concentrated Flavors and Oils

  • Cinnamon Oil

  • Peppermint Oil

  • Butter Flavor

  • Anise Oil

  • Marshmallow Flavor

  • Strawberry Flavor

  • Butter Rum Flavor

  • Cherry Flavor

  • Cotton Candy Flavor

  • Maple Flavor

  • Root Beer Flavor

Flavorings FAQ

Is Real or Artificial Flavoring Better?

The debate between real and artificial flavorings centers around the source of the flavors used in food products. Real flavorings are derived from natural sources and are obtained through processes like extraction, distillation, or infusion. They often provide a more authentic and nuanced flavor profile.

Artificial flavorings, on the other hand, are created in a lab and attempt to mimic natural flavors. While artificial flavorings can offer a consistent flavor experience and lower prices, some argue that they may lack the depth of real flavors. The choice between real and artificial flavorings ultimately depends on personal preference and dietary considerations.

Do Flavorings Go Bad?

According to LorAnn, a trusted name in flavorings, if stored properly, most flavors should last several years. Citrus oils degrade more quickly, but can be refrigerated to extend shelf life. If your essential oils or flavors look cloudy, have an off smell, or lose their intense aroma, it’s time to buy new.

How Do You Store Flavorings?

Flavorings are typically sensitive to heat, light, and air exposure, which can accelerate flavor deterioration. To maximize shelf life, store these products in cool, dark places, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Ensure that containers are tightly sealed to prevent air exposure.

What Flavorings are Available?

Country Kitchen SweetArt is your flavoring headquarter. We carry over 300 flavorings! From popular flavors like almond and vanilla to unique flavors like carrot cake and banana cream pie, we have you covered. Shop our huge selection of flavorings!

flavoring aisle at Country Kitchen SweetArt