In Benicia, a flavor factory explores new territory

Pictured: Hunter Pickett (white lab coat) mixing vanilla flavor components with Jamie Montoya (left) in the batching room of Flavor Insights in Benicia (courtesy of Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle)

After beginning production earlier this month in Benicia, Flavor Insights is the Bay Area’s sole flavor factory and claims to be one of the few West Coast producers of spray-dry technology.

Artificial and natural flavors, which come in powder, liquid and this newer concentrated form, are found in an estimated 90 percent of processed foods.

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