What You Need to Know About Natural and Artificial Flavours
by Rachel Boutagy
These days, most people are aware that a lot of foods are packed with artificial nonsense and ingredients you have never heard. And most people know that these are highly processed, and potentially harmful.
In most cases these artificial ingredients are also not really necessary, other than extending the shelf life of the food, making it look or smell a certain way, or have a certain texture. These chemical laden trickeries are designed to heighten the experience of the consumer, and usually dramatically reduce the cost of production.
In recent times there have been an increase in the number of 'natural' protein powders on the market with what appears to be a squeaky clean ingredients list. The term 'natural flavouring' in particular is currently being tossed around like lettuce in a salad spinner. So lets have a look at what 'natural flavouring' actually means.
The current definition of natural flavouring 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."
The largest difference between natural and artificial flavours is that natural flavors are derived from natural sources. The original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food. However that doesn't necessarily mean the "natural flavors" in your strawberry-cream protein powder are simply crushed-up strawberries. Rather, they probably consist of a chemical originally found in strawberries, enhanced and added into your food in a lab. Artificial flavors, on the other hand, are usually entirely human made, as opposed to being derived from a natural source.
We strive to only use real food ingredients to flavour our products which is why we don't offer dozens of different flavours in all sorts of exotic combinations. If we can't find real food ingredients to create a flavour, then we won't make it. Instead we encourage you to use our powders in combination with your favourite foods. For example if its blueberries that you love then get yourself a lovely fresh punnet of blueberries and blend it with our pure vanilla bean WPC, or if you have a hankering for a choc-berry delight, then put some fresh raspberries in a blender with our organic artisan cocoa WPC blend. Add cinnamon. Add freeze dried fruit powders (which actually are just crushed up fruits freeze dried to retain their nutrients). The sky is the limit when it comes to combinations, but please look no further than the real thing. Be wary of the term natural. Read the labels. Try and avoid foods that use 'natural flavours'.
And you can always count on ANPC to blend for you with complete transparency and integrity.