Do You Know the Difference Between Artificial and Natural Flavorings in Your Food?

To Read About Blog Topic, Scroll Down

If you are a doctor or clinician looking to make a bigger impact on the world, have more job satisfaction and have up-to-date protocols and treatment solutions for your patients, check out our free functional medicine training led by functional medicine experts: Dr. Diane Mueller and Dr. Miles Nichols below.

Get Your Free Training Here

Plus additional BONUS training videos on treating tough cases of brain fog and cognitive impairment!!

Do You Know the Difference Between Artificial and Natural Flavorings in Your Food?

You’re not alone if you have ever gone to your favorite supermarket and encountered the terms ‘natural flavor’ and ‘artificial flavor’ boldly posted on cakes, ice cream, sweets and so on. What’s a flavor and what makes it natural or artificial? Are there any differences between the two or are marketers and manufacturers laughing all the way to the bank because of your gullibility? The good news is that by the end of this post, you will have a good idea of what goes on behind the labels on your favorite food products.

In the Code of Federal Regulations by the Federal Drug Agency (FDA)1, a natural flavor is defined as follows: “A natural flavor is the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

On the other hand, artificial flavors have been manufactured using components that do not adhere to the wordy definition in the paragraph above2. In truth, there is very little difference in whether a flavor is natural or artificial since they are both made in a laboratory by a professional known as a flavorist. While the chemicals used to make natural and artificial flavors are the same (they have to be otherwise the flavor would taste differently), their sources are not. Artificial flavors are made using synthetic chemicals while natural flavors are made using chemicals that have to be sourced from the environment.

The scientists allowed to create flavors are known as flavorists (flavor chemists). They are very rare and number close to 500 worldwide3. These scientists have to follow strict FDA and USDA rules for food production for safety purposes4.

The difference between Natural and Artificial Flavorings

You might be surprised to learn that artificial flavors are simpler and safer than their natural flavoring counterparts. Artificial flavorings are also more affordable than their natural flavor siblings. All this is because highly trained flavorists using synthetic compounds that have been thoroughly vetted by the FDA and USDA are more likely to come up with safer compounds than nature. Nature will not take its chemicals through a vetting process designed to keep humans safe. This means the potential for toxic and harmful chemical compounds abounds in natural flavors. Artificial flavorings are cheaper because they are made in the lab and manufacturers do not have to spend a fortune procuring them from remote places, unlike natural flavorings.

What are the side effects, if any, of natural and artificial flavorings?

As has been discussed above, natural and artificial flavorings are the same thing, with subtle differences in the origin. While natural flavorings are made using chemicals obtained from the natural environment, artificial ones are made using synthetic chemicals made in the lab. While it might be tempting to think that the natural flavorings are better than the artificial ones, it has yet to be proved that they are of higher quality, safer and more cost effective than artificial flavorings. It might even be argued that the precision and safety measures governing the production of the chemical compounds behind artificial flavorings make them better than the natural ones.

The following are our recommendations

Whenever possible, choose fresh food made from scratch that uses whole spices for flavors• Minimize packaged and processed foods that use artificial OR natural flavorings• Consider flavorful spices, veggies, and fruits as ways to keep food tasting good• Go to a spice shop where you can taste different spice mixes and invest in several new spices that excite your taste buds• Experiment with cooking foods from different ethnicities than you usually eat to mix up flavors and tastes• Consider adding fresh ginger or turmeric juice, lemon, cucumber, or mint to water for flavored drinks• Also buy several herbal teas for different flavors and tastes between meals or before bed.

Reference Links:

Love Our Blog And Interested In FREE TRAINING?

FREE Training Includes:

  • Access to 27+ Modules of Functional Medicine Coursework
  • Live Q and A’s to Answer Your Functional Medicine Questions
  • Info on Lab Testing and Easy to Implement Protocols
  • To Sign Up Go HERE

Access Our Functional Medicine Training for only $1 for your first month! Check it out and stay if you like. Leave if you don't!

Are You A Clinician Who...

  • Wants to deeply impact your clients?
  • Struggles with complex cases?
  • Lacks ideas?
  • Feels frustrated or stuck?
  • Wants better results?
  • Wants to learn with experts?
  • To Sign Up Go HERE.

Are You a Suffering from Chronic Illness?

Does your current health situation look like this…

  • Do you feel that you have tried many things and either nothing works, or the treatment does not hold?
  • Have you been told that there is nothing that can be done to reverse your illness and you just need to manage symptoms?
  • Does your illness impact your work, your family, your happiness and your social life?

We specialize in finding answers and solutions for complicated chronic illness when people feel like they have tried everything. If this sounds like you, book a free call with us to see if we are the right fit for your health goals. 

Dr. Miles Nichols and Dr. Diane Mueller have spoken for the following organizations:

Recent Blog Posts

human growth hormone
If you are a physician looking to advance your career in functional medicine, read on more here to learn about some of the differences (and similarities) between functional medicine versus traditional medicine.

Functional Medicine versus Traditional Medicine

If you are a physician looking to advance your career in functional medicine, read on more here to learn about some of the differences (and similarities) between functional medicine versus traditional medicine.

Read More »
functional medicine coaching
treatment for lyme disease

Book a free Practice Analysis Call
or
Receive a free video series on Advanced Chronic Fatigue Syndrome