Natural Aroma: Harmful Or Not A Health Problem?

Natural flavorings enjoy a better reputation than artificial flavorings. Right? We look into this question. Learn more about the definition, production, and effects of natural aromas with us.

What is natural flavor?

Natural, nature-identical or artificial: In whatever form, flavorings can be found in numerous foods. Many consumers prefer natural flavors to the ingredient list – assuming that they are a better choice for a more conscious diet. In fact, natural flavorings are derived from plant or animal sources using physical, microbiological, or enzymatic processes. But that doesn’t mean that they end up on the plate or in the glass – as produced by Mother Nature. A good example is strawberry yogurt. The natural aroma of the fruit is usually not provided by a sufficiently large amount of fresh strawberries. Rather, the addition of flavorings obtained from bacterial or mold cultures ensures the usual aroma. The situation is different when there is explicit mention of natural strawberry aroma. In this case, it must come from 95 percent strawberries, with the rest also coming from natural sources. The same applies to the production of natural vanilla flavoring and other flavorings where a name is explicitly mentioned.

Critical voices on natural aroma

Since it is a legal requirement that flavorings of any kind should not harm humans, they can generally be present in healthy meals. However, critics point out that the sense of taste is influenced one-sidedly by “spicing up” food: The real strawberry could then suddenly taste bland or not intense enough compared to the flavored yoghurt. Replacing the original with a natural flavor also reduces the nutrient balance. Because a raspberry contains more vitamins and minerals than the comparable flavoring from wood chips. Some people can have an allergic reaction to the substances used in the production of natural flavors, such as solvents. Since the excipients do not have to be declared, this sometimes causes major problems for those affected. The question of whether a natural aroma is vegan can hardly be answered in this way.

Unprocessed food does not contain natural flavorings

If you want to eat as simply and naturally as possible, it is best to avoid natural flavors. Cooking yourself with fresh ingredients is the best way to avoid the flavors. Not only will there be more nutrients and fewer unwanted substances in the food, you will probably also feel full for longer. According to the consumer center, flavors can cause you to eat more. Unprocessed, non-frozen foods such as vegetables, fruit, and meat are never flavored – you are on the safe side here. So leave yoghurts, crisps, or cola with a natural flavor on the sidelines or only put them in the shopping trolley seldom.

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