Natural flavors are types of food flavoring acquired from animals or plants. These flavors are derived from fruit or edible yeast, among others. Natural flavors are man-made, unlike herbs and whole-food spices. These flavors are made through heating or roasting.
Natural flavors are also made using the enzymolysis process, food breakdown by enzymes. The most common natural flavor categories include the following;
- Extract or essence
- Essential oil
- Protein hydrolysate.
Below we discuss everything you need to know about organic natural flavors.
Why are they Used?
Natural flavors are commonly used today, and it is hard not to see why. These flavors improve food flavor and are an excellent way to cover up tasteless food. Remember, the source of natural flavors is animal or plant material. However, they can also be processed and have chemical additives.
Which Ingredients are Classified as Natural Flavors?
There are various natural flavors developed by food scientists, and below we discuss a few;
- Citral- is acquired from lemon, lemongrass, or oranges. Citral is mainly used in sweets and citrus beverages.
- Amyl acetate is extracted from bananas and provides a banana flavor in baked goods.
- Benzaldehyde- is acquired from cinnamon oil and almonds, among other ingredients. This chemical is mainly used to bring an almond flavor to dishes.
- Castoreum- is found in beavers and is mainly used as a vanilla substitute.
Remember, the above flavors can be produced in laboratories, whereby they are known as artificial flavors.
Should you Pick Natural or Artificial Flavors
Most people assume it is healthier to choose natural over artificial flavors, but they are almost similar in chemical composition. In most instances, artificial flavors have few chemicals compared to natural flavors.
Other advocacy institutions have argued that artificial flavors are safe, as they are made under strict lab conditions. Artificial flavors are cheap, making them the best option for food manufacturers.
Are Natural Flavors Safe?
Both artificial and natural flavors should be checked by FEMA before being added to food to ensure they meet the required standards. This evaluation’s results are sent to the FDA and regarded as safe if they meet the safety criteria.
Artificial sweeteners are added to drinks and foods to improve the taste. These sweeteners improve taste without additional calories, which makes them the best choice for people wishing to lose weight. Almost all types of foods have artificial sweeteners today, including soda and candy.
However, the main drawback of these foods is they might affect the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut. Remember, gut bacteria play an essential role in most body processes. Beneficial bacteria safeguard the body from infection, release important nutrients and vitamins, and regulate the immune system.
Natural flavors are types of flavorings acquired from animals or plants. These flavors have become increasingly common recently, and it is hard not to see why. They are available in different types, and the above article has discussed everything you need to know about them.
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