Ask the Expert – How to Add Natural Flavors to Cheese


Amidst the global pandemic, dairy sales have exploded as dairy products have firmed their position as a main staple in consumers’ refrigerators. With many staying at home and restaurants at limited capacity, more meals are being cooked at home. Cheese sales, in particular, are through the roof. From mid-March to late May, processed cheese sales increased by nearly 20%. Being cooped up at home means that consumers may want to try new things in addition to classic favorites. Trilogy’s dairy flavor chemists create delicious, trend-setting cheese flavors that appeal to curious consumers. We do this in Trilogy’s very own dairy lab where our flavors are continuously tested across many cheese formats from cheese shreds to dairy-free cream cheese. Our team of dairy experts is always creating something new. This is a fantastic time to introduce new flavored cheese products.

Cheese that is enhanced with natural flavors offers the opportunity to add variety in a clean, concentrated, and cost-efficient manner. Using Trilogy’s Bacon flavor (803901) will add an extra zing to your burger, or even a vegetarian dish that needs a little “meaty” flavor. Our Fajita Oleoresin Blend (710) will had pep to taco Tuesdays. The possibilities for flavored cheese are endless whether it be fruit flavors for kids’ cheese sticks or creamy flavors for dairy alternatives. Trilogy Flavors has the knowledge and flavor library to provide the dairy industry with high-quality flavors for their products during these unprecedented times.

While picking a flavor for your cheese may seem daunting at first, we have made it very simple. Our line of flavors easily incorporates into your cheese recipe thanks to our understanding of delivery systems. One of the great things about cheese products is that they provide a clean canvas for flavors. Whether it be a hard cheese, soft cheese, or a cheese sauce, our flavors will deliver consistent taste.

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How to Add Our Flavors to Your Cheese

Trilogy Flavors offers distinct natural flavor profiles in both oil and water-soluble delivery systems. Depending on the type of cheese product, a water or oil-soluble flavor can be used. Using natural flavors contributes to a more consistent flavor profile compared to whole spices. The flavor distribution of whole spice in cheese can vary which can result in weak or uneven taste experience. One bite may be full of flavor from fruits, nuts, or spice, and the next may have none. Trilogy flavors allow the cheesemaker to have a lot more control over flavor consistency.

Depending on when and how the flavor is added to the cheese, the flavor can present itself throughout the product, or in ribbons. The oil-soluble flavors are added at the curd stage for a hard cheese. This prevents carry over into the whey stream. The flavor can be easily mixed, or “plated” with salt, and layered into curd. This allows for even distribution of the flavor. For soft cheeses, natural oil-soluble flavors are added directly to the cheese mixture. Water-soluble flavors, on the other hand, can be added directly to a brine or soaking solution.  Additionally, Trilogy offers dry flavors for cheese products that require spray-dried or encapsulated delivery systems. Please inquire for more information. Our team of experts is happy to help you select the right natural flavor for your cheese application.

Benefits of Using Trilogy Flavors in Cheese

  • Add meaty flavors such as bacon or pepperoni, without the meat for vegetarian consumers. While all of our meat flavors taste and smell like they are from the source, they contain no animal products, and are vegan/vegetarian.
  • No micro load added to your cheese.
  • Consistent flavor intensity from batch to batch.
  • Concentrated natural flavors require less storage space compared to raw fruit, spice, etc.
  • Natural flavors can meet Clean Label requirements
  • In addition to natural flavors, Trilogy has 100+ Certified Organic flavors.

Ideas for Flavoring Cheese

  • Pepperoni flavored cheese on a pizza.
  • Roasted chicken flavored cheese for mac and cheese.
  • Dill pickle cheese slices for sandwiches.
  • Jalapeno or Chipotle cheddar cheese shreds for quesadillas.
  • Black truffle brie wedges for snacking.

Top Flavors for Cheese

Here are some of our top suggestions, but the possibilities are endless! Please CONTACT US for more.
  • Bacon (803901)
  • Dill Pickle (82890)
  • Horseradish (297020)
  • Black Truffle (384961)
  • Alfredo Sauce (127429)
  • Garlic Herb (55310)
  • Pepperoni (804056)
  • Chipotle (925261)
  • Buffalo Wing (815388)
  • Fajita (62499)


Using Trilogy Flavors’ natural flavors offers endless advantages to your cheese recipe. Our low minimum order quantities (MOQ) allow you to easily test new flavors in the market. Please contact us to discuss in more depth. Our sample library has over 1,000 flavors which can all be shipped out quickly. We look forward to helping you formulate your next award-winning cheese!

Chris Milligan

Chris is Sales Account Executive at Trilogy Flavors, a fourth-generation, family-owned business in the ingredient and flavor industries. The way Chris approaches business and sales is through looking at a customer as a true partner: Chris wants to grow with his customers for the life of the product, as well as help his customers with new products. Chris’ favorite aspect of the business is helping develop new products: he sees what a customer needs, then works with our internal team to develop prototypes to solve their problem, and to give them a new solution. Chris’ all around expertise combined with a technical, operations, and procurement background is what differentiates him in this industry. Most importantly, Chris has a passion for flavor. His knowledge of ingredients and how flavor is made helps his customers. Chris loves bringing samples into a customer to show them how our flavors can strengthen a product.