What Are Natural Flavors?

product guides

What Are Natural Flavors?

What are Natural Flavors Lemon Infused Water

There's some weird, artificial stuff floating around out there.

Natural flavors are something you may see on the ingredients list of your favorite cereal. Or maybe they're on your radar due to the recent LaCroix lawsuit.

Unfortunately, like many things in the food and supplement industry, there are no regulations when it comes to these flavors. And "natural flavors", that are in fact not natural at all, are highly prevalent.

How prevalent?

"Natural flavors" is currently the fourth most common food ingredient listed on food labels.[1]

There are, however, many companies in the industry that utilize natural flavors that are truly natural. We'll explain how to determine the natural from the unnatural below.

What is "Natural Flavor"?

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is:

“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”[2]

But what does that actually mean?

In layman's terms, that just requires the flavor to have originated from a natural organism. It's clear that the flavors at some point started in nature, so why are some people concerned by them?

Simply put: Not all natural flavors are created equal. And not all natural flavors are created naturally.

Natural flavors can contain solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives that aid in separating the natural flavor complex from the original botanical source. Just one natural flavor can contain between 50 to 100 ingredients and yet it's still described as "natural blueberry flavor" to you, the consumer. 

Natural vs. Artificial Flavors

A flavor being classified as "natural" or "artificial" is a qualification of source alone. 

 Cheat Sheet Example:

  • Natural blueberry flavor is extracted (in a lab) from a real, live blueberry that was plucked, from a real, live blueberry bush. Note that the flavors can also come from other fruits, vegetables, seeds, or any other natural sources.
  • An artificial blueberry flavor begins and ends its life in a laboratory - it's made to taste like blueberry through an amalgamation of man-made aroma and flavor chemicals that befit a blueberry

Natural Flavors and Ora Organic

Our products do contain natural flavors, but don't run! Because unlike many other flavors out there on the market our flavors are organic compliant. 

Organic compliant natural flavors are: Natural flavors that don't contain synthetic pesticides or GMO ingredients. 'Organic compliant' isn't listed on the label though - so be sure to ask the manufacturer of the product.

Organic compliant means we ensure our flavors sources, and the means to extract them, meet the criteria for organic and non-GMO certification. It also means no synthetic pesticides, food radiation, or sewage sludge.   

To reiterate: No solvents or preservatives. Just the flavor and aroma chemicals found, biologically, in plants. You already consume them on a daily basis when eating fruits and vegetables.

Why Use Natural Flavors?

Because we care about your tongue.

We craft our supplements with the intention of being beneficial to your health, as well as your taste buds. So, it's of the utmost importance to us that you enjoy using them.

How do we do that?

We collect the different aroma and taste components that comprise the flavor of say, an orange, and mix them to provide you with the best possible mouth experience. As a company co-founded by a chef, taste matters and we want to give you the best.

Too Long; Didn't Read (TLDR)

Natural flavors are: Flavors that are made with an extract from an actual fruit/vegetable/thing that grows in nature.
Artificial flavors are: Flavors that are made in a test tube by humans.
Organic compliant natural flavors are: Natural flavors that don't contain synthetic solvents or preservatives. 'Organic compliant' isn't listed on the label though - so be sure to ask the manufacturer of the product.
Ora Organic's flavors are: Organic compliant and made with only the compounds naturally occurring in fruits/veggies that you already eat every day.
We use natural flavors because: We're taste artists. To provide you with the best possible mouth experience, we utilize different aroma and taste components found in plants only.