Asked by Katheryn Barrows in Food ScienceBananas and Plantains
Why doesn't artificial banana flavoring taste anything like real banana?
5 days ago
6 days ago
November 15, 2019 9:59PM
Actually, it does taste like a real banana, just not one you’re familiar with.
Artificial banana flavoring was developed from Gros Michel bananas, once a very popular variety of fruit. Unfortunately, they were all but wiped out by a fungus in the mid 20th century, and a fungus-resistant variety, Cavendish bananas, became the most popular. These bananas have a more subtle flavor, and as such, don’t resemble artificial banana flavor very closely.
More broadly, artificial flavorings often miss the mark because they are inherently less complex than the taste of real fruit—they can’t mimic aspects like ripeness or texture. Artificial banana flavor is created almost exclusively by a compound called isoamyl acetate, and that single compound just can’t provide the nuance of a real banana.