Many food products are made by combining raw materials in specific proportions in a formulation, and research on the effects of various formulations on product qualities is common in product design.

The raw materials can be divided into two groups: the basic product raw materials and the 'top' or aesthetic raw materials. This does not mean that the basic raw materials do not give aesthetic qualities to the product - in fact in modern food design this is recognised as a fundamental factor. But sometimes there is a need for the addition of colours and flavours to improve the aesthetic effect.