The Society of Flavor Chemists (SFC) is a not-for-profit organization with the sole purpose of advancing the field of flavor creation and flavor technology and related sciences. Founded in 1954, the Society started as a fellowship of flavor chemists meeting informally at the Chemists Club in New York to share their common passion for flavors. They saw the need for a professional organization that would serve to improve the status of flavor chemists. The first 14 charter members formed the Society and in 1959, it was incorporated to be the not-for-profit organization serving the flavorist community today. The Society provides a forum to foster and encourage the art and science of flavor creation, promote professional discourse, encourage assistance, promote sentiments of friendship and common interests among members with a high standard of professional conduct. To this end, we sponsor and conduct meetings, present educational programs, organize symposia as well as hold social gatherings for networking and promote exchange of personal contacts. We also offer scholarships to students who engage in further studies relating to flavors. And available to all, we have a library that collects books and publications on flavors, flavor ingredients and allied subjects to preserve the rich history of the Society of Flavor Chemists and the flavor industry.
Society members are flavor chemists by profession. We come from different educational backgrounds, largely Chemistry, Food Science, Biology, and other related sciences. Also called flavorists, we formulate flavors for a wide array of food, beverage, and pharmaceutical products utilizing science and creative talents along with analytical tools. We continually study and taste products. And we are always in pursuit of new and innovative materials as well as new ways and means to create great flavors that move the world.
Much like the attainment of the perfect balance of flavoring materials to create a great flavor suitable for the application, becoming a member takes time and training. Candidates must complete an approved 7-year apprentice period training in flavor creations and pass a review by the membership committee as stipulated by the Society of Flavor Chemists’ by-laws. It is a tradition in the Society of Flavor Chemists that senior and experienced members personally train the younger members during apprenticeship. Continued learning and growth over time is essential to mastering the craft.
Since its inception, almost seven hundred flavor chemists have become members of the Society, of which about 400 are active on the bench working on flavors every day. The majority of the Society members are located on the East Coast of the United States, specifically New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania due to the large concentration of flavor companies there. The Midwest, particularly Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana constitutes the second largest representation of our membership. There is also a growing presence of membership on the West Coast, particularly in the Southern California area. Internationally, we have members in Canada, Australia, and in several countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.