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Natural Flavoring

Alternate Names

Natural Flavors


Flavoring 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 product. The flavorings may be obtained through a variety of methods including: drying, roasting, fermenting. This can include the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, distillate, or any product of roasting or heating. In order to be considered a natural flavor, the significant function in food must be for flavoring rather than nutritional. For flavors derived from synthetic sources, see Artificial Flavorings.

Natural Flavoring - Quick Stats

Natural Flavors

Allergy Information

Artificial Flavoring



Additional Information

Although these flavorings are derived from natural sources, they are often highly processed and therefore, not so "natural." There are approximately 500 flavorings which are derived from natural sources. Substances derived from animal sources must be identified as to the species of origin (examples: dried chicken broth or lamb extract).

Found In

Thousands of packaged and processed foods including: beverages, snack foods, desserts, baked goods, crackers, ice cream, frozen meals, cookies, chips, alcoholic beverages, flavor packets, spice blends, taco seasoning, quick boxed rice, soup, juice, soda, sauces

Possible Health Effects

Because natural flavorings can be derived from hundreds of different plant and animal sources, health effects and allergy information would depend on the specific flavoring used. If you have a food allergy, food sensitivities or do not want to eat anything of unknown source, stay away from all foods containing natural and artificial flavorings.

Allergy Information

See Possible Health Effects section

In The News

4/7/04: Today on MSNBC, Food Q&A: Just what is 'natural' flavoring? by Phil Lempert discusses the differences between natural and artificial flavorings.

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources

Copyright November 10, 2010 Be Food Smart

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