It’s very common to see the term “natural food flavours” on ingredient lists on packaged food items. Food manufacturers add such flavouring agents to their products to enhance the taste. However, the term can often be confusing and even misleading.
What are natural flavours?
According to the Food Regulatory Authorities in India, natural food flavours are created from substances extracted from plants or animal sources such as:
- Fruit or fruit juice
- Vegetables or vegetable juice
- Root leaves, edible yeast, herbs, bark, buds, or plant material
- Dairy products, including fermented products
- Meat, poultry, or seafood
Food flavours are produced by heating or roasting the animal or plant material. Moreover, a natural flavour manufacturer increasingly uses enzymes to extract flavour compounds from plant sources to meet the huge demand for natural food flavouring.
Natural food flavours help enhance the flavour and do not necessarily contribute to the nutritional value of food or beverage. Such natural food flavouring is extremely common in foods and beverages. Some reports suggest they are our food labels’ fourth most common ingredient. Food flavours are used to create flavour enhancers used in processed foods.
What is the meaning of ‘natural’?
It’s common in human psychology that when “natural” appears on food packaging, people usually form positive opinions about the product, including its health benefits. However, the food regulatory authorities are yet to define this term officially. Hence, it can describe almost any food product.
The source must be a plant or animal if it’s a natural flavour. By contrast, the original source is a synthetic chemical for an artificial flavour. The fact remains that all flavours contain chemicals, whether they are natural or artificial. It’s true that every substance in the world, including water, is formed by chemicals.
Natural food flavours are chemical mixtures created by professionally trained food chemists known as flavorists. However, the organization of flavorists, which evaluates the safety of flavour additives, is often criticized by nutrition experts and public interest groups for not sharing safety data about natural flavours. Most natural flavours are usually safe for human consumption when taken occasionally in processed foods.
However, if we consider the number of chemicals that are part of a natural flavour mixture, adverse reactions may occur. Those who are allergic to a particular food or follow special diets need to investigate what substances have been used in a food flavouring.If someone has allergies and wants to eat out, they should ask for ingredient lists. Although there is no legal binding on restaurants to provide this information, many do so to attract and retain customers.
Therefore, natural flavourings must meet safety requirements because individual reactions may occur. People who suffer from certain allergies should be cautious about consuming them. Sometimes, even natural flavour mixtures contain many different chemicals, which can cause adverse reactions in some people.
Best Turmeric Flavours
Turmeric is widely used as an important spice, cosmetic and pharmaceutical product. Therefore, the best turmeric flavours are carefully formulated under ideal conditions using supreme-quality turmeric. They are also tested on defined quality parameters and packed in secure packets of different sizes. In India, there is a lot of demand for the best turmeric flavours in the food and beverage industry that only a leading natural flavour manufacturer can fulfil.
Which are better- natural flavours or artificial flavours?
Some may think it’s healthier to consume foods containing natural flavours and avoid those with artificial flavours. However, if we look into chemical composition, the two are remarkably similar. The chemicals in a specific flavour may be derived either naturally or synthetic. You will be surprised that artificial flavours sometimes contain fewer chemicals than natural flavours.
Moreover, some advocacy groups have given this argument that artificial flavours are safer because they are produced under strictly controlled laboratory conditions. Artificial flavours are also much more affordable, making them an ideal choice for food manufacturers.
There is also a possibility that people who are either vegetarian or vegan may unknowingly be consuming animal-derived natural flavours in processed foods. However, natural flavours don’t appear to have advantages over artificial flavours. Natural flavours are almost similar to artificial flavours. On the contrary, artificial flavours may even have some advantages.