Natural Flavors: Demand and Benefits

Natural – it’s the new buzzword in ingredients, flavoring, and clean food and beverage labels.
When manufacturers include the claim “natural” on a label or packaging, consumers are more positive towards the product, assuming it’s a healthier alternative to non-natural options1.
However, what are natural flavoring ingredients, and why are they preferable to artificial flavorings? Are there any drawbacks to natural versus synthetic flavorings?
What Are Natural Flavoring Ingredients?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations defines natural flavors as those derived from plant or animal sources instead of synthetic chemicals as found in artificial ingredients.
The FDA further defines them as “a substance extracted, distilled, or similarly derived from plant or animal matter, either as-is or after it has been roasted, heated, or fermented, and whose function is for flavor, not nutrition.”2
These natural flavors include fruit and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juice, spices, herbs, other edible plant materials, mushrooms, yeasts, sea vegetables, and animal products such as dairy, poultry, seafood, meat, and eggs.
Natural flavors are commonly used in food and beverage manufacture (often listed as high as fourth on ingredient labels3), intended to add to, enhance, or change the product’s taste.
Producers extract natural flavors using various techniques, including heating, roasting, fermenting, or enzymes. They can be complex combinations of natural chemicals created by chemists and not intended to add nutritional value.
In addition, while the source of natural flavoring ingredients may be plant or animal based, these compounds can be as highly processed as synthetic versions and ultimately very similar to their artificial counterparts in chemical composition and effects.
At the same time, with the FDA definition of “natural” being broad, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) do not disclose natural flavor safety data4. Manufacturers must only list flavors on labels, not their sources or chemical combinations.
This obligational lack means that “natural” flavoring ingredients can contain numerous chemicals – “incidental additives” – in addition to the source, such as solvents, preservatives5, and flavors sourced from genetically modified crops6.
However, when authentic, the advantages of natural and pure flavor ingredients, are undeniable.
The Benefits of Genuinely Natural Flavoring Ingredients
For consumers, the benefits of genuinely natural flavors – which tend to be more concentrated, more natural tasting, and demonstrably pure – include being healthier, more intensely flavorful, and even lower in calories than synthetic flavoring.
In addition, for the manufacturer, the advantages are numerous, including:

  • Reduced usage rates: Concentrated natural flavoring ingredients offer increased value for money and, often, a more intense, higher-quality flavor.
  • Refined shipping costs: Smaller volumes mean lower shipping expenses and improved margins.
  • Easier storage: Lower volumes mean less storage space is required, further reducing your spending.
  • Increased flexibility: Oil and water solubility and dry and paste formats mean more opportunity for customization for diverse processing and increased flavor profile complexity and characterization.

Notably, authentically natural flavoring ingredients, including increasingly in-demand plant-based options, ensure greater customer trust and satisfaction, boost repeat purchasing, and grow customer equity.
At the same time, while most natural ingredients are safe, the possibility of adverse side effects exists, given the chemical complexity of the mixes.
So, for the sake of your consumer and your brand, choose only approved and strictly regulated natural ingredients, such as those offered by Advanced Biotech.
Why Choose Natural Flavoring Ingredients From Advanced Biotech?
Advanced Biotech provides an extensive range of 100% natural, pure, plant-based, and EU-certified flavor and aroma molecules and compounds produced using advanced, greener technologies and tools and more cost-effective techniques.
All products are available with comprehensive documentation, including product specifications, food-grade documents, US and EU safety data sheets, source documents, various declarations, and kosher, halal, GMO, and vegan certificates, for your and your customers’ peace of mind.
Contact Advanced Biotech today to place your order or discover more about our natural extracts, pyrazines, thiazoles, absolutes, distillates, and more.