Storing Concentrated Flavours Long-Term

Storing flavours
Photo Credit: ELR user Pascalp37
Flavor Storage Rack
Two of my racks and tupperware

How best to protect and organise your flavours

If you’re anything like me, you just can’t help yourself. Try as you might, the postman keeps dropping off packages, sometimes weekly, sometimes bi-monthly. Once it becomes twice weekly I’m checking myself into FA – Flavours Anonymous.

Obviously buying lots of flavours gets expensive, and as such, we need to protect and organise our investment. Let’s look at some common and not so common methods.

How long do flavours last?

According to discussions I’ve had with Capella, TFA, Flavorah and a flavorist (chemist), flavours are okay in the original plastic bottles for around 3 to 6 months. However, a number of variables come into play. Temperature, humidity, exposure to light and how often one opens the bottles.

Most, including myself, have used flavours that are at least a year old, and I’ve noticed that whilst at times it’s subtle, the flavour can and will change. I have yet to determine with any certainty what flavour groups are affected most, but I can tell you I’ve noticed certain additives such as FA’s Oak Wood and TFA Koolada do suffer from the above variables. I’ve also experienced changes to fruits, such as mango and pineapple. Dairy can suffer too.

These changes are not necessarily bad and they’re still usable, they just loose some balance and or can instil a slight off note; perhaps more so with fruits, however, If you’re not concerned keep them.

The shelf life of flavours – A brief from The Flavor Apprentice

Glass not plastic

So, if you plan to keep your flavours long-term, it’s best to transfer your concentrates to glass bottles, with glass droppers too. At the very least, consider glass for your most essential, favourite flavours.

Glass is also preferable if you plan on storing your flavours in the fridge, and due to the reduction of natural breathing-leaking of plastic, flavours maintain their integrity better.

I purchase mine from Pack My Product. Blue for flavours and Amber for tobacco, additives and nicotine. They have sizes from 10 ml and up and the seals are nice.

High or Varying Temperature

If the temperature where flavours are stored goes beyond 27 degrees (80 deg F) you should consider placing them in the fridge. This also applies to locations that are subject to fairly drastic temperature changes. Flavours, as with wines and olive oils, prefer a more stable environment; again, without direct light and heat.

Better still, grab yourself a wine cooler and keep them at a cellar type temperature of 13-16 degrees (55-60 F).  You can pick one up for $200 or less, well worth the expense when your inventory is over 100 or so. This way, they should last at least a few years. True, an extreme solution, but it’s a good one.

An Esky – cooler can work well too. If a fridge isn’t handy or practical, an esky with or without ice, depending on temp extremes is suitable too. I’ve used one numerous times when temps get about or close to 32 deg. (90 F). I simply put some ice trays in the bottom, place an old rag or thin piece of wood on top, and place 2 nail polish racks inside and keep the lid closed. Mine is the Willow 25 ltr version.

Storage Tips

If your flavours are in a nail polish rack, shelf or open space, that’s fine, given the temp is okay. However, when placing them in a fridge and or any type of enclosure such as a box, you should keep similar profiles together, especially if you keep them in plastic bottles.

I use Tupperware type containers for the fridge (I did that with a wine cooler too) and I keep all these flavour types separate – Tobaccos, Most Desserts, Vanilla and Custards, Fruits and Additives.

Important-

Some flavours can crystallise in the refrigerator and or extreme cold, so keep these in a dark cupboard or drawer.
Koolada, Acetyl pyrazine, Sweeteners and Malted Milk by TPA. I am uncertain about FlavourArts Polar Blast, but best be safe and add this too.

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