Written by: Jaime Lynn Lawrence

Have you ever considered a career as a Certified Flavorist? Flavor Houses like Flavor Insights in Benicia, CA offer a rigorous training program which allows an individual to pursue their apprenticeship and certification while working directly under the guidance and instruction of at least one certified member of the Society of Flavor Chemists. Being a Certified Flavorist allows you to create and develop every kind of flavor imaginable. With a strong foundational knowledge of organic chemistry, regulatory, instrumentation, sensory science and so much more – you can enter this field filled with dedication and creativity.

Flavor Insights was delighted to sit down with one of our Flavorist Trainees, Eli Capitan, to hear her perspective on what it is like to be in the training program at Flavor Insights, and what led her to pursue this exciting career.

What inspired you to become a Flavorist Trainee?

I was inspired to become a Flavorist Trainee after working in the industry straight out of college. Although I would say the strong interest and passion didn’t develop until I briefly left the flavor industry to work for a ready-to-eat noodle company. It wasn’t until then that I really missed and appreciated the art and creativity that goes into flavor creation.

What is your favorite aspect about creating flavors?

I like that we can be as creative as we wish to be. Knowing what a customer is looking for and fulfilling those needs while giving your own take on it can be quite fun and challenging at times. Whether it’s a different take on something as simple as a vanilla or a unique request it’s always bound to be fun and interesting. Not to mention there’s a lot of nostalgia involved when it comes to getting a flavor request for something you’re familiar with and grew up with.

Why Flavor Insights?

I’ve had diverse work experiences in the Flavors and Fragrance industry, all of which I’m grateful I worked in because they’ve really shown me what I think would be the most compatible structure for me as a Flavorist Trainee. I can confidently say the I appreciate the structure of boutique Flavor Houses like Flavor Insights. I like the diverse influx of projects we get and the fact that there is a lot of creative liberty allowed here. I also appreciate that we have so many capabilities as a Flavor House. We get to work on powder, spray dried, and liquid flavors all under the same roof which gives us trainees plenty of learning opportunities on that end.

What would you tell someone who is looking into coming into this field?

I’d tell them that the flavor industry is very niche but that’s part of what makes it so fun. It’s been so rewarding working in this industry and meeting people that are equally as passionate about the industry.

What are the biggest disadvantages of being a Flavorist Trainee?

The biggest disadvantage is the training time that’s required to be a Certified Flavorist. I think most trainees are just so eager to start creating flavors but there’s so much more to it that we tend to overlook. Essentially, we are still learning on the job which is the silver lining to the long-term commitment.

What do you wish you knew coming into this program?

I wish I knew how long it would take so I would’ve started earlier!

What excites you most about this role and the future of becoming a Certified Flavorist?

I’m most excited about being certified and getting to see my own flavors mesh with the ever-changing flavor trends. I think this is an industry where we don’t get bored easily, so I look forward to where customer trends lead us to in the future.

Flavor Insights is passionate about bringing exposure, education, and training to our future generation of Certified Flavorists. We are grateful for our Flavorist Trainees and are constantly impressed by their work, eagerness to learn and their dedication to their craft. If you have any questions or would like to request samples, please reach out to our team!