British Society of Flavourists and WFFC visit to Endeavour

The Women in Flavour and Fragrance Companies UK (WFFC) organised a visit to Endeavour Speciality Chemicals based in Daventry on 24th February.

The BSF were also invited and fourteen people attended and were met by hosts of the day Stewart House, General Manager of Endeavour, and Lynzi Bennett of WFFC and Treatt.

Stewart introduced the company. Endeavour was founded in 1991 in Daventry and moved to a new facility on the edge of Daventry in 2002. In 2008 the company was acquired by Robinsons Brothers, West Bromwich, who manufacture bulk scale chemicals. Endeavour work closely with Treatt and Stewart described them as the producer of the ‘Rolls Royce of chemicals’; high impact aroma chemicals with powerful distinctive flavour characteristics.

Manufacturing processes include high pressure hydrogenation, thiolation, Grignard reactions, hydrogen sulphide and carbon disulphide chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry, amination, dehydrogenation, bromination and oxidation reactions. They have over 400 chemicals in their product range and the Research Department is constantly on the search for new high impact aroma molecules or developing more efficient routes to existing products.

One of the most impressive features of the visit was the complete absence of any polluting smell both outside and inside the building - even in the laboratories producing some of the most potent aroma compounds known to mankind. This is achieved through state of the art air ventilation systems, carbon filtration and a chemical scrubbing unit discretely located at the rear of the building surrounded by trees (see photo).

Endeavour is environmentally audited on a regular basis and has to meet the most stringent standards of air quality management laid down in legislation. The visitors on the day were all impressed by the complete absence of any ‘stink’ usually associated with such an operation.

After a fine buffet lunch the visit was concluded with an entertaining aroma quiz. The visitors were divided into two teams and presented blind with a number of high impact aroma chemicals at suitable dilutions and asked to describe their flavour characters. These were later revealed as;

2-pentyl acetate: orange juicy, green unripe fruit with oily, fatty notes.
4-vinyl guaiacol: smoky, ham, bacon, woody.
2-pentyl butyrate: fragrant, fruity, banana, apricot.
5-methyl-2-hepten-4-one: hazelnut, buttery, roasted, coffee with meaty notes.
dimethyl sulphide: cabbage, sweetcorn boiled vegetable, sulphurous.
bis(methylthio)methane: truffle, garlic, fresh onion, sulphurous, vegetable cabbage nuances.
methyl octyl sulphide: tinned pineapple chunks, earthy, roasted peanut.
2-isobutyl-3-methylpyrazine: green, bell pepper, fresh.
methylthiobutyrate: sulphurous with tropical fruit and Limburger cheese character.

The BSF would like to thank Stewart for a most enjoyable, informative and educational visit and Lynzi and the WFFC for organising the event.