Do you have the habit of reading the instructions and information mentioned on packed food items? Have you come across the term Natural flavors and Artificial Flavors?
Food labels are confusing. In most cases, the mention of artificial flavors and natural flavors are pretty common. What does it mean to consume artificial and natural flavors? However, artificial flavoring sounds fake and risky while the natural do not. So, what do manufacturers really mean by the flavors?
Do not confuse Taste and flavor, as they are two different things. Flavor is how we see the food based on a combination of smell, touch, and taste. In this era of unhealthy foods, you have to be very sure while purchasing every food item. We eat processed Chemical substances as food. Do we see artificial flavor as bad and natural flavor as good?
Understanding Natural Flavors
Natural flavors are those that have been derived from sources that are originally natural. These ingredients are basically the extracts from plant or some animal byproducts after immense processing which can no more be listed on labels. These flavors are mainly added when the food products lose any essential taste or flavor in the due course of processing. For example, you would find the mention of natural flavors mostly in juices. Manufacturers promise that the juices are 100% natural and the label carries the same but the truth is different. The mention of ‘natural flavor’ has become a promotional factor.
Truth about natural flavors
‘natural’, ‘herbal’, ‘ancient’ and ‘ayurvedic’ are the fancy terms used by manufacturers to impress people. People prefer natural drink over artificial. Natural flavors do not mean they cause any harm. It contains chemicals derived from the natural sources and they are considered less harmful than the artificial flavor.
If we analyze the truth, naturally flavored food is almost equally harmful as artificial flavors. Natural extracts from plant and animal sources cannot be directly used in the process of making food. They go through many chemical reactions and are processed with chemical additive similar to the ones in artificial flavor. You would be surprised to know that in terms of chemical composition both natural and artificial flavors are the same. Natural flavors contain less number of preservatives than the artificial ones, which makes you feel safe and good for health.
Here’s is what you must know about Artificial Flavors
What do artificial flavors mean?
You guessed it right!
They are flavors that are not natural. They are fake or imitation of the natural flavors.
Tasty food is in high demand. If given a choice to choose bitter gourd or chocolate, a kid would definitely stick to chocolates. Similarly, humans have an addiction to taste and our taste buds look for delicious and yummy food. We keep us away from food that is not pleasing to our taste buds. Food manufacturing companies try to meet our demand by creating artificial flavors that are tastier than natural flavors.
- Also Read, Your fast food’s wrapper is bad for you
Artificial flavors are fake. They are not a natural substance. It uses natural extracts and essence that are unnatural. When you see ‘Artificial Flavor’ on the food label, you must understand the fact that they are flavors created by the manufacturers to enhance the taste of the food. When specific flavor cannot be extracted from fruit, vegetable, bud, herb, root or leaves in a natural way, unnatural chemicals are used.
Harmful effects of Artificial flavors and colors
Caramel is an artificial ingredient or flavor. We all love the flavor though it is artificial in nature. Excessive use of caramel causes Vitamin B6 deficiencies. Saccharine causes allergies, or tumor and bladder cancer on a worse perspective.
It is harmful to eat artificial flavors regularly. Chest pain, problems in the nervous system, depressions, fatigue, allergies and brain damage (worst case scenario) are the harmful side effects of artificial flavors. Seizures, dizziness, and nausea are common symptoms of overexposure to artificial ingredients. In the most horrifying truth, artificial flavors can cause DNA damage in humans.
Understanding the differences between Natural and artificial food
Hope you have a clear picture of both natural and artificial flavor. If you are still unclear, this differences would help you to understand food labels better.
- Natural flavors have their source from natural elements like plants and animals. On the other hand, humans create artificial flavors in the laboratory.
- It is safe to eat Natural food and flavor. There is no proof about its harmful effects. However, in the case of artificial flavors, facts prove the severe health effects and issues like tumor and cancer.
- Natural extracts make natural flavors. Natural substances like fruits and vegetables contribute to natural flavors. As a result, we get natural flavors. Man-made chemical components make artificial flavors.
Hope you have an extensive idea about what the manufacturers really convey by the terms artificial and natural flavors. The food industry is highly competitive and they try to satisfy our cravings by using both natural and artificial flavor, which can indirectly cause harmful effects. Let’s not blame fats and sugars for obesity. In fact, the taste and flavor of artificial flavors have decreased our zeal towards natural food.
Don’t you feel it is better to eat a strawberry fruit than eating strawberry-flavored cookies?