As the name suggests, flavouring extracts are obtained through the process of extraction. Basically, this means that all flavour components, which are characteristic of the flavour of the raw material, are “drawn out” of the source ingredient. For this, the desired natural ingredient (for example, pepper, thyme, cinnamon) is placed in a liquid such as water, alcohol or oil, into which it gradually releases its flavour. As soon as the liquid has completely absorbed the flavour from the raw material, the remaining material is filtered out. Today, this process continues to be the most common method for manufacturing flavourings.
We use this process from the flavour industry to a small degree on a daily basis without being directly aware of it: For many of us, extraction is a morning ritual. We are referring to coffee and tea. Flavours for preparing these beverages are extracted from powder or leaves using hot water.
But everyone who cooks regularly has “extracted” at some point. Vegetable broth is a classic example of a homemade extract. In this case, root vegetables and various herbs are boiled in water until their flavour has been completely absorbed by the liquid. They are then removed from the broth.
The extraction process also occurs in homemade sauces with herbs such as oregano, basil or rosemary. For instance, the popular white wine-cream sauce is the perfect basis for a herbal extract given that it offers the perfect basis for the absorption of flavouring substances with its mixture of water, alcohol and fat. Herbs and spices, which are also boiled in the sauce, release their flavouring substances into the sauce. Unlike broths, however, the flavouring component is generally not filtered out in the end. Spice oils are also considered flavour extracts. The oil, in which chilli, pepper and other spices are immersed, absorbs their flavour.