How Does Jelly Belly Do It


Jelly Belly has always had creative flavors that went beyond the normal jelly bean. Then, The Harry Potter franchise came along, and the rest is history. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans  was just the start. As its name suggests, there are beans of many flavors in the boxes. In addition to beans that taste like banana, lemon, and blueberry, there are also black pepper, earwax, booger, earthworm, and vomit jelly beans. The BeanBoozled line features lookalike jelly beans in flavors like buttered popcorn and rotten egg, licorice and skunk spray, peach and barf, and chocolate pudding and canned dog food. People who have taken the challenge state that the vomit jelly bean does, in fact, taste like puke. How do they do it?

A large part of how we taste is what we actually smell, so Jelly Belly’s first step involves analyzing the real thing. Using a gas chromatograph the target object is turned into vapors after being dissolved. It analyzes the chemical makeup of those vapors and converts them to flavor markers, which is what Jelly Belly’s team uses as a starting point.

When the company decided to add a new bean called Stinky Socks, “our flavor scientist aged his own socks in a sealed plastic bag for a couple of weeks until being analyzed in the chromatograph,” Perry says. The bean’s flavor was created using that data. “In the early tests, the scent permeated everything the scientist wore, even a very small batch,” Perry says. “Usually you can do some laundry and take a shower and all is well, but the scent and would not let it go. It’s the only time I’ve heard of one of the flavors causing such extreme ruin.” The company’s flavor scientists refined the flavor so it’s less potent.

Such a long process to make the perfect Jelly Bean Flavors, but for flavor connoisseurs, it is so worth it!