The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of selected proteins as alternative materials for flavor encapsulation by spray drying. Two traditional materials (gum acacia and modified starch) and three proteins (sodium caseinate, whey and soy protein isolates) were used at different infeed solid levels; test compounds included (R)-(+)-limonene and three alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes ((E)-2-hexenal, (E)-cinnamaldehyde, citral). The primary criteria for performance were flavor retention during drying and protection against losses during storage. Limonene oxidation and nonenzymatic browning were investigated as two possible deterioration routes. Overall, higher infeed solids improved retention during drying and limited flavor losses (aldehydes and limonene) during storage in traditional materials only. The materials giving the highest flavor retention during drying were gum acacia (94%), modified starch (88%) and whey protein isolate (87%). Gum acacia provided the highest retention of aldehydes during storage (37 to 58%) after 28 days at 40 degrees C but did not afford good protection against limonene oxidation. Oppositely, protein materials effectively limited limonene oxidation (>70% retained). Nonenzymatic browning was observed for all powders prepared with proteins, especially whey protein isolate, whereas no browning occurred with traditional materials.