What’s a Natural Flavor, Anyway?

By Nonna Joann • Feb 18th, 2010 • Category: Nonna's Nutrition News & Views

What is this?

AbbieAmyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.

Abbie’s not sure what that is, do you know?

This is a typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a strawberry milk shake. Often flavor compounds contain more ingredients than the foods that they give flavor to.

The federal Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to disclose the ingredients of their color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

Artificial flavors and colors are made from petroleum and one of its byproducts, benzene, a flammable colorless, carcinogenic, sweet-smelling, liquid solvent. Artificial vanilla manufacturing starts a long way from tropical orchid flower fields, the origin of real vanilla. Synthetic vanilla flavoring, called vanillin, is made in petrochemical plants in China and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

To make things more confusing, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and MSG are often masked by other names: natural flavors, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monsodium glutamate, hydrolized plant protein, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolized oat flour, malt extract, malt flavoring, bouillon, broth, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural beef, chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices, carrageenan, enzymes, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate.

What’s a mom to do? Of course read labels, but don’t be fooled by the nutrition label. Eat whole foods.

forest_feast_final-coverCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

For info about the free Baby Bites Ezine, CLICK HERE.

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  1. [...] Joann Bruso, publishes an informative little e-zine about raising healthy eaters called “Baby Bites.” In her latest issue she lists all the ingredients that make up the “natural [...]

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