Natural Flavor

Flavors + Colors

Questionable

Details

Definition
Chemical mixtures originally derived from plant or animal material created to mimic naturally occurring flavors. Organic Natural Flavors are slightly more regulated, and cannot contain propylene glycol, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, mono- and di-glycerides, benzoic acid, polysorbate 80, medium chain triglycerides, BHT, BHA, or triacetin.
AKAs
Natural Flavors
Health Impact
Natural flavors can be made with 100s of chemicals, none of which are required to be disclosed on the product label, so it can be very hard to determine what harmful ingredients lie within them, especially for people with food allergies. These flavors are also created to make food more palatable, so they can be addictive, leading consumers to eat more without feeling full.

Sources

Synthetic ingredients in Natural Flavors and Natural Flavors in Artificial flavors
https://www.ewg.org/foodscores/content/natural-vs-artificial-flavors/
We are what we eat: Regulatory gaps in the United States that put our health at risk
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5737876/
Food-Induced Anaphylaxis: Role of Hidden Allergens and Cofactors
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457317/
The GRAS provision - The FEMA GRAS program and the safety and regulation of flavors in the United States
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32135216/

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