What Are Natural Flavors?


What Are Natural Flavors?

Many packaged foods may contain ‘natural flavors’ in the ingredient list. The FDA doesn’t require food labels to say what the ingredients are for ‘natural flavors’ unless the ingredients include common allergens like milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soy. In those cases, there is a disclaimer below the ingredient list. How can you know what ‘natural flavor’ actually is in a food?

Some transparent natural food companies are now listing what their flavor blend is next to the term ‘natural flavor.’ If not, you can contact the manufacturer directly if the information isn’t listed. Sometimes ‘natural flavor’ may be essential oils used for flavor. The term ‘natural flavor’ or ‘natural flavoring’ is defined by the FDA as “a substance extracted, distilled, or similarly derived from natural sources like plants (fruits, herbs, veggies, barks, roots, etc.) or animals (meat, dairy products, eggs, etc.) via a method of heating, with its primary function in food being flavoring not nutritional.”

Try to avoid ‘flavor enhancers’ which may be glutamate by-products —which is just another way of saying MSG. These chemical by-products are excitotoxins, a chemical that has a reputation as being harmful and can trick the brain into overeating while creating addiction.

The best advice to be confident in the foods you consume regularly is to stay educated and to use common sense. It’s always better to have a diet of whole fresh foods and foods from transparent companies you trust.

photo credit: bigstockphoto.com/SCphotog

Similar Posts