This study focuses on the loss of desirable flavour when encapsulated via spray drying in selected food polymers examining the relative importance of chemical reactions versus diffusion out of the polymer into the product headspace. The food polymers examined include whey protein isolate (WPI), gum acacia and 10 DE maltodextrin. Both diffusive and reactive losses of our model volatile system (18 compounds) occurred during storage and the extent of loss was dependent upon both the food polymer and volatile being considered. Losses tended to be related to the presence of protein in the food polymer although some volatiles were most stable in the whey protein isolate (e.g. acetaldehyde and pyrrole). Based on the average value of loss across all volatiles for each food polymer, volatile loss attributed to chemical reaction was approximately 35% for the 10 DE maltodextrin system, 50% for the gum acacia system and 80% for the WPI system.