I learnt what the food industry means when they market “flavor burst”, “mouthfeel” and “bliss point” from the new book Salt, Sugar, Fat. These sensational flavors owe their existence to food engineers who are employed by companies such as Cargil, Nestle and the Soda giants. A salty “flavor burst” is an altered shape of natural salt. A “mouthfeel” effect is a carefully customized combination of fat globules of different shape and sizes. The “bliss point” is arrived at through mathematical analysis. On the one hand everyone should be thankful for the efforts in giving the consumer the best of sensory experiences. It must not be easy.

Giant internationals now relentlessly pursue their market share outside the developed countries where a new breed of consumers dote on anything from the developed world. These trend setters in their respective societies, in their eagerness to be considered developed, do not find it necessary to be as aware as consumers in the west. A majority of population who currently use spices and natural ingredients in their daily intake are likely to quickly follow these trend setters. Multinationals will profit even further. Messages from authors such as Michael Moss have no way of reaching the average consumer in a developing society whose only source of information is the popular media which is now highly leveraged by the Giant Multinationals. This is surely a trend towards extinction of native ingredients and recipes.

Consumers want to satisfy their taste buds. Tasty is equated with satisfaction. Giant multinational are simply catering to this need. Healthy ingredients dent the profit of the food industry. Therefore the food industry invests in engineering products using the cheapest ingredients- Salt, Sugar, Fat. Corporations will be just that- looking after their bottom line.

Modern life style promotes a single message of satisfaction- satisfying the senses, better TV to watch, better iPhones to listen with, breakfast in a cereal box for the tongue, fragrances in a bottle, softness in everything that touches the skin. Yet, anyone will remember that earlier generations lived a satisfying life. Aspects other than the senses can indeed bring satisfaction. This message is lost to most of the population amid the noise. The voices of those who still remember this possibility must join together. Join stress free violence free campaign and become heard.


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