Flavours are the diverse perceptions we get from food products due to chemical interactions between our sensory systems and food items. Flavouring agents or flavours are the substances added to the food items to impart a desirable flavour or alter the pre-existing one by modifying the smell and taste characteristic of food. Natural flavours are natural oils and chemicals that can be utilized for adding flavour to food items without changing their chemical composition. Fruits, vegetables, spices, barks, buds, leaves, poultry and other dairy products come under the most common natural flavouring compounds.
Flavouring agents in pharmaceutical preparations such as oral syrup, oral suspension, elixirs, emulsions, lozenges, chewable tablets, effervescent tablets, and dispersible tablets are used to impart not only flavours; but also lend a pleasant taste. They’re used to improve patient compliance or palatability of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Flavouring agents (pharma grade) are available in two forms- Powder and Liquid. Leading food and beverage flavours manufacturers in India have put forward a variety of food flavour essences and flavour powders for the pharmaceutical industry applications.
Solid powder flavouring agents are added in the blending stage of dry granulation or after wet granulation during tablet manufacturing. Flavouring oils and liquid synthetic flavours are coated to get dry flavour powder. During wet granulation, only liquid flavouring agents or flavour oil are added. Liquid flavouring agents are used in a pharmaceutical liquid dosage form and topical pharmaceutical dosage forms such as cold cream. Flavouring agents may be used individually or in a combination of two or more flavouring agents in a different ratio. Approximate 0.5% to 0.75% liquid flavouring agents or flavour oil are used without interfering with the tablet characters.
The recommendations for flavour choices are based on a general experience. However, as the taste is a matter of personal acceptance, the recommendations have to be used just as a guide. It is essential to know the ingredients of the base which have to be flavoured for correct recommendations. Every flavour has to be tested and tried out before use. Dosage of the flavour has to be ascertained on trial as this depends on the intensity of the taste required in the product.
The popular pharmaceutical flavours doing the rounds in the current marketplace include- tutti-fruity, raspberry, tulsi, anise, bubble gum, vanilla Madagascar, chocolate flavour, rose, black currant, clove, lemon, garlic, pistachio, mixed fruit, strawberry, pineapple, rooh gulab, caramel flavour, butterscotch, mango, paan flavour, mint flavour, melon, cherry, zaffran, orange flavour and much more. the following chart would be a great help to delve into the choice of pharma flavours available with the leading pharmaceutical flavours manufacturers today:
|PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT||FLAVOUR ADVISED|
|Amino acids||Spices oils- Ginger, Cinnamon|
|Bitter Quinine Salts||Lemon or orange with a combination of vanilla|
|Cascara||Ginger or cardamom|
|Bromide salts||Cinnamon, orange, apricot, peach|
|Cod liver emulsions||Nut-toffee and especially orange|
|Cod liver pure||Orange/ Mandarin oil|
|Liver extract||Celery, caramel, lemon, orange oil|
|Liquid worm remedies||Toffee, pineapple, orange, strawberry|
|Paraffin oil emulsions||Cream and vanilla|
|Pharmaceutical syrups||Raspberry red currant and strawberry|
|Iron preparation||Cherry, brandy, pineapple|
|Cough syrups||Aniseed, liquorice, rum, raspberry|
|Protein hydrolysates||Pineapple, banana, honey|
|Yeast powder||Cardamom, cumin, caramel, vanilla|
|Mixtures of Vitamin B||Hazelnut, walnut, orange, lemon|
|Special syrups for children||All-natural flavours except for almond and green mango|
|Antacid preparation||Rose, cardamom|
The most famous pharmaceutical flavours that are popular in the pharmaceutical industry are as follows:
- Wild cherry, Mint flavour, Walnut, chocolate flavour, Anise:
Lends bitter taste- acts as a flavouring agent that contains free bases such as alkaloids and amides. Polyhydroxy compounds with a molecular weight greater than 300, aliphatic thiol-compounds, halogenated substances and high molecular weight salts may have a bitter taste
- Peach, wintergreen, butterscotch, apricot, maple:
Lends a salty taste- due to the presence of anions and cations
- Liquorice, raspberry, citrus flavour:
Lends a sour taste- caused by hydrogen ions, and sour taste is proportional to the hydrogen ion concentration
- Vanilla, fruit, berry flavour:
Lends a sweet taste- due to polyhydroxy compounds, polyhalogenated aliphatic compounds, and alfa-amino acids
A flavourant not only provides a pleasant odour and taste of drug products (medicine), but it also increases the palatability of a pharmaceutical preparation. Psychologically it increases the quality of the drug without improving particular therapeutic effects.
Worthy to note here, that a flavouring agent is different from a fragrance. Flavouring agents are vital excipients for chewable tablets, oral disintegrating tablets, dispersible tablets, oral solutions and oral suspensions to mask the unpleasant smell as well as taste and to make the product more palatable, thus increasing patient compliance. A fragrance is used in an external pharmaceutical dosage form such as cream, ointment, and cosmetics preparations. Flavouring agents in the pharmaceutical industry are non-toxic, whereas fragrances are toxic for oral or parenteral administration. Keeping the above suggestions and user differentiation in mind, it becomes easier to invest in the best pharmaceutical flavours manufacturers in Delhi offering the best deal for market-centric pharmaceutical flavours.