Natural flavors, you never know what to think when you read this wording on the label. Are natural flavors good or bad? What are they? These are flavoring substances obtained through physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes from a material of plant, animal or microbiological origin. It starts from the raw material and is transformed so that it can be consumed, usually in products to eat. We can speak of natural flavors only if the flavoring component contains exclusively aromatic preparations and / or natural flavoring substances and the aromatic part must be 100% Natural
Natural flavors: what they are
Today it is necessary to specify what it means natural flavors on the label since the laws changed less than ten years ago. The definitions are now more detailed but you can always risk confusion, especially if you are not an expert in the sector.
Before he spoke of natural flavors when molecules obtained from grinding, fragmentation, distillation starting from vegetables such as fruit, leaves, flowers, roots, or from animals.
Instead we spoke of "Natural-identical" when these aromas, albeit giving the same result as the previous ones, were “built” in the laboratory by chemical synthesis. They certainly cost much less than their peers but were not allowed in organic products.
The third category of aromas is that of artificial, obtained by chemical synthesis in the laboratory, the least expensive of all. Since the law has changed there are no longer natural-identical flavors and there are more restrictions for natural ones.
Natural flavors: list
The new wording, in force since January 2011, sees a list of possibilities that at first glance they look identical but they are not, which is why reading the label is a real feat, sometimes. In front of an orange product, for example. It can be seen written "Natural orange flavor" when 95% of the aromas are extracted from the fruit, otherwise we will find "natural orange flavor with other natural aromas" because there is less than 95%, it is mixed with others.
If then the label shows a general “Natural aroma”, the taste of orange it will be the result of a mix of natural components that does not include the orange itself. When an orange-flavored product just says “flavorings”, it contains all the natural-identical and artificial flavors.
Natural food flavorings
In food sector natural flavors they are used for various reasons. In general, to adapt a product to favorite local characteristic flavors or to create novelties, new flavors, as in the case of an ice cream or a yogurt, for example.
When competition is strong, the natural flavors they are the way to stand out. In some cases, even non-natural aromas can help compensate for any loss of aroma during food processes and food storage or to improve the acceptability of foods with critical ingredients.
Natural flavors for sweets
Sweets are among the products that most frequently contain flavors, hopefully natural. It depends on what sweets we buy. We find natural flavors in products with milk and creams, in ice cream but also in candies and in many snacks. Not only in the kitchen they turn aromas, also used in the tobacco industry, in oral hygiene products and medicines.
Natural flavors: what they contain
As we have seen, the aromas, if natural, must contain a high percentage of natural ingredient "Protagonist" of the aroma itself. It is always necessary to check, every time you buy something with the inscription aroma. On Amazon it is possible to buy6 bottlesto 17 euros.
Natural homemade flavors
When we cook a dessert at home, we can avoid buy natural flavors and use the most natural and safe ones that exist: the do-it-yourself ones! With the ingredients we want. For example, the citrus peel if organic, and obtain ultra natural aromas of orange, lemon, mandarin and cedar. Another possibility is to use dried fruit, including strawberries, blueberries and even kiwis.
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