Searching for flavour pairings

Google can be of great help when exploring flavour pairings, especially for those of us who don’t have access to the commercial database VCF. The following tip has been mentioned in a comment to a previous blog post, but I thought it could be a good idea to bring it to everyones attention:

The Good Scents company has en extensive range of aroma components, and the nice thing is that they list natural occurences and uses. The latter I guess, is based on the organoleptic properties of the aroma compounds. Using google, it’s possible to check if two or more foods have anything in common. Just type in the foods of interest and add site: at the end. The triple combination in my last post for instance gives the following search string (click to perform the google search) and the top 5 hits are:

furfuryl mercaptan * 98-02-2
benzothiazole * 95-16-9
isovaleraldehyde * 590-86-3
bis(2-methyl-3-furyl) disulfide * 28588-75-2
5-methyl furfural * 620-02-0

The numbers following the name of the aroma compound are CAS registry numbers and indentify each compound uniquely. They are often more useful than the chemical name when searching the internet and databases.

Unfortunately there is no way to distinguish whether the foods listed for each aroma compound occur under the “Natural occurences” or “Used in” labels.


  1. Hey, thanks for the good tip. Just some question: When I write two different provisions in Google fore ex
    beetroot cocoa site: and nothing comes up, how should I construe that? Does it mean that thees two don’t match?
    Is it: The more hits on google, the better?

  2. Anders: It would be quite inconclusive. No matches only means that there are no matches in The Good Scents Company’s databse, but you can’t really draw any conclusions from that.

    The more hits, the better? Basically, yes. But there might be a little catch here, because when googling you will get hits for let’s say cocoa both under “natural occurences in” and “used in”. Strictly speaking the flavour pairing is based on substances which occur naturally, but sometimes it will probably also work if it’s only listed under “used in”. To sum it up – this googling technique is useful and free, but it’s not optimal.

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