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ABSTRACT

Caffeine contributes to the flavor profiles of beverage and food products, and other bitter compounds, such as quinine, cannot replicate caffeine's bitterness. Research also has indicated caffeine's ability to enhance desirable tastes, such as sweetness and saltiness, in beverages by modifying neurological pathways. Caffeine may reduce potential “ off-flavors” by solubilizing some compounds, while having little effect on other compounds considered important in beverage flavor profiles. Exposure to caffeine may enhance cognition and potentially heighten the capacity for smell and taste. Thus, use of caffeine in beverages may positively affect flavor profiles and the experience of beverage consumption.