Are Natural Flavors Food – The Truth Revealed Now

Are Natural Flavors Food, or are we completely deceived as to what natural flavors actually are? When I think of natural cherry flavor, ground up cherries come to mind. Natural to me means real food! But, that is not at what the government food regulations say.

The rules that have been written to protect us are a bit sketchy and quite broad when it comes to food additives. This is of course intended to help minimize costs for the manufacturer, and help to keep things from totally getting out of control. Or has that happened already?

While these natural flavors products originate from natural products (sometimes), There are also some that are manipulated in a lab and still qualify as “Natural?” I personally think that if it is made in a lab using chemicals, it should be classified as what it is, “Artificial Ingredients.”

One company that creates these Natural Flavors is actually named ( Natural Flavors Inc.) They are headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, right here in the USA.

Natural Flavors Inc. was founded in 1986. The company’s line of business includes the manufacturing of flavoring extracts, syrups, powders, and related products for the manufacturing of soft drinks. They also have a website. www.flavor.com

Are Natural Flavors Food – Or Food Fraud?

What are Natural Flavors?

A. Government regulations define natural flavors as those that derive their aroma or flavor chemicals from plant or animal sources, including fruit, meat, fish, spices, herbs, roots, leaves, buds or bark that are distilled, fermented or otherwise manipulated in a lab.

nytimes.com – Are “Natural Flavors” Really Natural


As you read the definition above, you can clearly see, that this statement opens the door for just about anything. If you take something from an animal, ferment it, distill it, or manipulate it in a lab, and you can still call it “Natural Flavor”. That pretty much opens the door for just about anything! How in the world can it be allowed to be labeled “Natural”

Anytime you take food and add chemicals, I would think that product is no longer a Natural Food or Flavor. It has been altered! That statement makes the difference between artificial ingredients, and non organic natural flavors!

Well, it certainly has me scratching my head! But, it doesn’t stop here!

You see, these so-called “Natural Flavors” can and do contain many other substances because of that little clause above. They can contain chemicals derived in a lab. Then why in the world are these called “Natural Flavors!”

This is the loophole that allows dozens of things like preservatives and solvents that are not restricted in nonorganic foods, to be added and labeled as “Natural Flavors” That means that even though the product label says “This product contains only natural ingredients, it is not true!

Natural Flavors are Ingredients in Healthy Foods

In fact, you can go to your grocery store and pick up products that are labeled Non GMO, And the label also says “All Natural Ingredients.” Then these products are marketed as healthy foods, and found in the healthy food sections on the local markets. But, when you read the list of ingredients, guess what you will find as one of the ingredients? “Natural Flavors!”

And because there are so many different things added to these “Natural Flavors,” there isn’t really much difference between Natural and Artificial flavors. That is a problem for people who have allergies to some of the chemicals put into food.

With the catch all label “Natural Flavors” you have no way of knowing if there are any ingredients used that you may be allergic to, inside that “Healthy Product!”

If you do try a product that you purchased as a healthy product, and have some kind of an allergic reaction, you can probably blame the “Natural Flavors” found in that product. I had a severe reaction to a product I thought was a healthy product.

You can read the whole story in my link below.

Related: Dr Gundry Proplant Shake

Are Natural Flavors Food or What?

The FDA classifies a natural flavoring as an essential oil or extract from a plant or animal source. Some of those sources include:

  • Meat, seafood, or poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Fruit or fruit juice
  • Vegetables or vegetable juice
  • Fermented products
  • Edible yeast, roots, bark, buds, or similar plant material
  • Spices and herbs
  • Eggs 

In order to refine these sources of Natural Flavors, chemicals, solvents, plus heat can be used to process and create these Natural Flavors. As long as the products are classified as nonorganic, it is ok under the FDA guidelines. So, these “Natural Flavors” also contain chemicals and solvents.

One example is pure vanilla extract. It contains vanilla bean and alcohol. A natural product with a solvent. Both are edible and considered safe.

But some “Natural Flavors” are really kind of gross. The goo like substance called castoreum, is used for flavoring. It comes from a gland on a Beavers butt. Because it is in close proximity to the Beavers anus, it often contains a combination of Castor gland secretions, Anal gland secretions, and urine. Yuck!

And castoreum is also used in the production of some vanilla flavorings, among other products. Some vanilla flavorings also contain propylene glycol. This is edible, and in the same class as alcohol. But, it is also used to make car antifreeze! It is not the highly toxic Ethylene glycol. Both are used in antifreeze. But, it is still a chemical I think we really don’t need in our food!

you have heard of Hint Water. Well, the “Natural Flavors” in Hint water contain propylene glycol. And they labeled their product as “All Natural. Propylene glycol does not occur in nature!

Food Navigator-USA.com – Propylene glycol in the spotlight as Hint Water is targeted in “all-natural” lawsuit with a twist.

What is wrong with natural flavors?

Some natural flavors may also contain artificial chemicals. so, for that reason they are not always better for you than artificial flavoring. And the may also be processed, which is not as natural as raw or minimally processed foods.

goodrx.com – What are Natural Flavors

The basic problem I have with “Natural Flavors” is that they make you believe that they are a wholesome food. but they are not. With all the substances allowed into the “Natural Flavors,” they are more like unhealthy unnatural flavors.

By calling them “Natural Flavors,” I think it is really deceptive to the public. And all the ingredients used in processing should be put on the label. I don’t really see any difference between “Artificial Flavoring” and “Natural Flavors”

But, the perception is huge! People are getting fooled into thinking that it is a type of natural product when it is far from it! And people are always going to choose a “Natural Flavor” over any “Artificial Flavor.”

Are natural flavors actually natural?

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.

bhg,com – What Is Natural Flavor

So now you know that “Natural Flavors” are not actually natural. They can be a combination of many different chemicals added to the original natural product. Some solvents could be used, as well as heat, or distillation for processing the Flavor. Once you do all that, it is actually changed from a natural product to a processed one.

The only real way to get natural flavors is to consume natural fruits and raw vegetables. Then you are sure you are getting the natural flavor from the fruit or vegetable. The Flavorists (as they are called) can and do make the product they are flavoring have more intense flavor than the natural food.

This is intentional! they want the food to taste so good it becomes addictive! Then you will consume more and become a regular customer. But is is just not healthy.

Are natural flavors healthy?

So, are natural flavors actually bad for you? The short answer is- not really. The truth is, foods with natural flavors added are typically higher in calories and sodium and taste better making them addictive and resulting in unhealthy cravings and diets.

menutrinful.com – Natural Flavors – Added Flavor or Added Risk

Are Natural Flavors Food – They Make Snack Food Taste Better?

Most of the food we snack on, contains “Natural Flavors”. If you ever wondered why you can’t stop eating that bag of chips, it’s not your fault. The “Natural Flavors” are designed to make things taste so good, we want more!

Artificial Flavors are created in a lab. But, so are some “Natural Flavors!” The truth is that natural flavors are very similar to artificial flavors. The reason is simple. Manufactures want to make more money, Some are not concerned at all about what goes into the product.

There are some 100 known chemicals used in the production of “Natural Flavors” and many health problems are associated with a lot of these chemicals.

But food addiction is just one consequence of unknowingly consuming excitotoxins. These insidious ingredients have been linked to a myriad of health issues in human and animal studies, including neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s2, obesity3, chronic pain and inflammation4, headaches and migraines5, retinal damage6, brain lesions7 and hampering neurological development in children 8 (to name but a few).

branchbasics.com – The Bizzare Truth About “Natural Flavors”

Unfortunately, the manufacturers are not required to label the ingredients in the “Natural Flavors” being used.

I disagree with that. All you can actually do is avoid products with the “Natural Flavors”. Not so easy to do, because they are in a lot of processed products.

Where do natural flavors come from?

Natural flavors come from plant or animal sources, like a fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, dairy product, herb, spice, leaf, root, bark or bud that is then processed, fermented or distilled in some way. In short, natural flavors are extracted from plants and animals to create specific flavors for processed foods.

discovermagazine.com – What Are Natural Flavors

As I said above, Beavers supply the Castoreum, and some “Natural Flavors” come from the bladders of Sturgeons. Not the places I thought that “Natural Flavors” would be coming from. And it is not the ground up food I thought it was.

Does natural flavors mean MSG?

MSG occurs naturally in some foods, including tomatoes and cheeses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But it’s also produced synthetically and added to packaged or prepared foods as a flavor enhancer. As far as foods label goes, however, MSG won’t be listed as natural or artificial flavors.

branchbasics.com – The Bizzare Truth About “Natural Flavors”

I have a real problem with MSG. So, I need to know when it and it’s compounds are being used as flavor enhancers. When I consume a lot of MSG, I get a severe gout attack. It is a painful experience and sometimes requires a visit to the doctors office. I like to avoid that as much as possible.

But when you don’t know what is in the product, the only choice you have is to contact the manufactures and hope they give you the list of ingredients they use in their “Natural Flavors.” Otherwise, I just avoid the products completely when I see “Natural Flavors”

Thank you for reading, I hope I educated and entertained you. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will get back to you ASAP.

Chas

There are affiliate links in this post. So, if you buy something, I may receive a small paid compensation, at no additional cost to you. These small fees help to cover the costs of bringing this content to you. Thank You For Your Support.

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10 thoughts on “Are Natural Flavors Food – The Truth Revealed Now”

  1. Hi Chas, Wow you certainly have done your research here. I have just finished eating a yogurt that said natural flavours on the label starting to wonder what I just ate 🤔 Think I might have to take the blue pill on this one I am already a very fussy eater but wow castoreum I will have to look out for that one. Is this like castor sugar by any chance?

    Also, I don’t know if this is related but I see a lot of fizzy drinks add natural flavourings rather than aspartame and acesulfame K. I always thought they were the lesser of 2 evils. Basically, I read that acesulfame K is totally rancid – God knows why they add it to drinks and aspartame is an excitotoxin that fools your brain into thinking you like the taste or something.

    I mean it is so screwed up. Like I don’t know if they do these things for better shelf life or what. I think nowadays so many people trying to get a slice of the pie that they literally have to say things like natural flavours to get the customer’s attention.

    Like whatever happened to this planet. Very dark some of this stuff indeed.

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,
      I had the same reaction you did when I bought some beef broth that said “Non GMO – All Natural Flavors – No Artificial Ingredients” but, when I read the ingredients, there it was- “Natural Flavors” So, yea you have no idea what is in the product. I was expecting to see beef extract, and salt. The Castoreum is usually found in Vanilla and Strawberry flavored products. Any product that is “Flavored” in any way has this “Natural Flavors” on the label. It’s disqusting!
      Manufactures use these flavorings because the actually make products taste better, but I don’t want my product to taste better, I want it to be wholesome! And I would bet it is cheaper for a product to be flavored with some chemicals than the real flavor. And they know that a customer will take a product with something that says “Natural” before they buy a product with “Artificial Flavors”
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, and please stop back soon!
      Chas

      Reply
  2. Hello Chas,

    Thank you for this enlightening information about this so-called “Natural flavors” label. And I agree with you, it was already tampered if it is processed in a lab and added these chemicals along with it. We are growing some vegetables in our terrace garden. Mostly tomatoes, Lady’s fingers, camote tops, etc. Fortunately, we have groceries nearby that support local farmers who grow vegetables organically and use the sun as a light source, the old way.

    I would never believe anything FDA says or recommends here in the Philippines (usually, they are just following the US FDA). Just like how they are crushing the vaping industry into oblivion here as a viable and healthier alternative to smoking, so people get back to smoking or pharmaceutical equivalents to smoking cessation. Of course, they are generating millions of dollars from taxes from tobacco companies, so the government prefers them and the chemo and dialysis industry as well. Blocking any progress on cancer/diabetes research for potential cures.

    Reply
    • Hi Lemuel,
      I do believe that if the name “Natural Flavors” were correctly labeled “Artificial Flavors” it would be a lot more truthful! It is nice to hear you are growing your own vegetables and shopping at the organic marketplaces! Much better for your own health! I agree that the FDA is favoring big business for money reasons.
      I don’t know much about the vaping industry, but if the vaping product is using “Flavorings” then they are most likely the same dangerous chemicals.
      And Yes the Chemo industry is also producing some dangerous treatments that cause cancer themselves, to buy patients a few more months of life, with painful side effects!
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Please stop back soon.
      Chas

      Reply
      • Hello Chas,

        The juice makers here for vaping are just small businesses and not corporations. I think they concoct their flavorings from natural ingredients, or they may have imported them. I doubt that they have the expense for laboratories to add chemicals to their juices. But oh well.

        The FDA here is trying to ban now all flavorings for vape juices except menthol and tobacco flavors, but for flavorings in cigarettes its fine. Way to go for our government.

        Reply
        • Hi Lemuel,
          Yes, that is what is happening, because those flavorings are derived buy heating, and steaming, and sometimes using solvents. But, when they say “Natural Flavors” it can be just the same as “Artificial Flavors” You can buy these Flavorings online directly from the manufacturers, and they are anything but natural. So, people are getting sick from inhaling these flavorings. They are damaging lungs. That is why they are banning the “Flavorings”
          Any product that has “Flavoring” of any kind is mostly “Artificial”.
          YES, I totally agree, “Flavoring” ingredients in cigarettes should also be banned! They won’t even disclose what they are, and that is wrong!
          Chas

          Reply
  3. Hi Chas,

    This is quite disturbing information! I would not think something made in a lab is natural, even if it started out from a plant or animal source. Castoreum sounds really disgusting! I will definitely have to check the foods I eat more closely after reading your post.

    I had a class in college where we had to look at some methods for growing food in the US, and it is scary where some of our food comes from. I now avoid corn because it is not what I would call natural.

    Thanks for bringing the “natural flavors” to light,

    Chastity

    Reply
    • Hi Chastity,
      Yes, the foods we eat are not what we think they are. I was shocked to find healthy choice foods containing “Natural Flavors” It just seems that those foods are supposed to be healthy, and wholesome. we don’t expect those natural sources to be disqusting! The FDA in the US needs a real updating! I don’t eat corn that much either! Even the non-gmo varieties.
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Please stop back soon.\
      Chas

      Reply
  4. Hey Chas. Thanks for bringing to my attention these “Natural Flavors”. I have to share with you, that this isn’t a problem just in the US, but almost everywhere in the world. I mean, here in the Netherlands, they even grow some fruit and veggies all YEAR THROUGH. If you know the weather here, it’s impossible to grow it naturally, so they use Artificial Light.

    I don’t know if they call them also natural flavors, but it tastes just not like real veggies. (Just returned from Greece, and the difference is like day and night).

    I am asking what is the solution. Growing your own veggies? Seeing governments all around the world just joining when it comes to habitant’s health.

    Seeing the issue you have and you have to visit the doctor time-to-time is just alarming. Seriously, let me know if you see a solution, will be happy to hear one!

    Reply
    • Hi Julius,
      we also have what they call “Hot House” vegetables. They are grown under glass in beds similar to what you are referring to, and some probably use artificial light. I agree the taste and quality is compromised. I much prefer home grown or outdoor grown vegetables and fruit from local farmers who practice organic methods. Yes, to grow your own vegetables is the best solution!

      But, not everyone can do that. The alternative is to buy from farmers who are growing organic foods. They are more expensive, but the quality is very good.

      I think the solution, is to make these manufacturers label their products honestly and accurately. It will require legislation which in the US is always blocked by big money and political ambitions for re-election.

      So, the hope is that more farmers decide to do the right thing and grow chemical free products. and to just boycott all processed products until manufacturers produce healthier lines of food!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and please stop back soon.
      Chas

      Reply

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