What distinguishes between artificial and natural flavors?

What distinguishes between artificial and natural flavors?

To find out, you can look at the nutritional label of any packaged food, and you will likely see the term “natural flavors” on it. But have you ever wondered what these mysterious additives might actually contain?

 

Although natural flavors may seem better than chemical alternatives – artificial flavors, they are actually no different… But, why do all foods include natural flavors?

 

“Natural and artificial flavors play an interesting role in food. They essentially provide taste, and are often added to make food more attractive,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group. “These natural flavors make your food products taste the same,” he said. “Across the country, at any time of the year,” he said, noting that “these flavors have become the signature for many of these products.”

 

So, what is it that distinguishes an artificial flavor from a “natural” flavour?

Andrews responded to this question by saying: “Not much… The biggest difference is that natural flavors come from natural sources, that is, the original ingredient exists in nature, is purified and extracted, and added to the food, while artificial flavors are made in a laboratory, and are not Derived from a natural source.

 

“The difference lies in the origin of those molecules, whether they are artificially processed in the laboratory, or purified in the laboratory from a natural source,” Andrews explained.

 

As for adding natural or artificial flavours, it can include between 50 and 100 different ingredients.

 

“The mixture will include some preservatives and solvents, making up between 80 and 90 percent of the flavoring volume. In the final product, it is a small amount, but it still includes artificial ingredients,” Andrews noted.

 

The differences between natural and artificial flavors can often seem minimal. But, can natural flavors harm your health?

 

The amount of preservatives and natural flavors in the solvents is too small to be linked to any ill health effects.

 

However, natural and artificial flavors can fool you into expecting flavors that exist in your foods, but do not exist in real life.

 

Vandana Sheth, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that artificial or natural flavors may incite cravings for food in some people, adding, “The consumer must be smart when dealing with ingredients, and know the harm of consuming food in excess of what the body needs.” “This will affect weight gain.”

 

Many studies have linked artificial sweeteners, which have the same wonderful effect on flavor, to weight gain and unhealthy eating habits.

 

“Anxiety is about the ability to make things more attractive than they are,” Andrews said, adding: “You can make foods that are not healthy and make them look more attractive, or taste more fresh.”

 

Andrews advises adhering to a healthy diet consisting of whole foods, especially since the flavor contained in natural apples, for example, has not been tested in a laboratory.

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