Flavor Chemistry: the artistic blending of approved chemicals and extracts to achieve a desired flavor profile for a specific food, or beverage product. The flavor may enhance, shift, or even mask the flavor of the food itself. Flavor is caused by receptors in the mouth and nose detecting chemicals found within food. These receptors respond by producing signals that are interpreted by the brain as sensations of taste and aroma. The chemicals that produce flavors are notoriously difficult to study because a single natural flavor may contain hundreds or even thousands of component substances, and some of these substances are present in minute quantities. Understanding the components of flavor has become more important than ever with the modernization of food systems and the increased reliance on processed foods. Food chemists focus on the chemistry of foods, their deterioration, and the principles underlying the improvement of foods for consumers.