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Natural flavor

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What is a natural flavor?

Here’s how it is defined by the Code of Federal Regulations. It’s a mouthful:

"The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means 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."

This means that natural flavors can come from a wide array of natural chemicals (plant, animal etc.) as opposed to artificial (human made) chemicals. So, a natural flavor differs from an artificial flavor in the source (origin) of the chemicals used.

Both natural and artificial flavors are made by a flavorist in a lab.

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