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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Is 'Natural Flavor' Healthier Than 'Artificial Flavor'?

November 3, 2017: NPR:

Most processed foods have either natural or artificial flavors. "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines "natural flavor" as oils, resins or other extracts derived from natural sources like plants, meat or seafood. Processes like heating or fermentation are used to extract the flavor. The function of these products is flavoring, not to add any nutritional content."
"The food industry does this on a massive scale — scientists find the chemical responsible for a specific flavor in nature, extract it, and then add it to candy, beverages and throngs of other processed products."
"When consumers see "natural flavor" on a beverage label, they shouldn't assume that someone is zesting oranges into their bottle, says Mattel. Even though natural flavor must come from natural sources, it need not all come from the plant or meat whose flavor is being mimicked. For example, orange flavor might contain not only orange extract, but also extracts from bark and grass." This is done for availablity, cost, flexibility and to produce a particular desired flavor.
"Ultimately, natural and artificial flavors are not that different. While chemists make natural flavors by extracting chemicals from natural ingredients, artificial flavors are made by creating the same chemicals synthetically." "The reason companies bother to use natural flavors rather than artificial flavors is simple: marketing."
"In some cases, natural flavors may have more detrimental environmental consequences than artificial flavors. Mattel explains that because natural flavors must come from resources in nature, they may involve more forest clear-cutting and carbon emissions from transport than flavors created from scratch in the lab."

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