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The Science of Flavors

Artificial Flavors vs Natural Flavors

Natural flavors include any flavor that’s isolated from a natural source like a plant or animal product. Specifically, it is the flavor chemicals that are being extracted from the product.

For example, this is the chemical that gives bananas their distinct taste.

An artificial flavor is a compound that’s made in a lab but is the exact same chemical composition as the natural flavor.

So this is what the natural flavor looks like and this is what the artificial flavor looks like. They’re the same!

 

There is no scientific evidence that artificial flavors are worse for you than natural flavors. Natural flavors can actually be better for the environment, because they require labor and resource intensive extraction, and they can come from materials that are rare or difficult to cultivate. This is also why natural flavors are more expensive.

Ultimately, natural flavors are used for marketing and have this “health halo” around them that doesn’t really exist.

So, if you’re picking a product only because it has natural flavors instead of artificial flavors, save your money and go with artificial.

Sources:
Artifical vs Natural Flavors, www.tiktok.com/lauren.rolerat (TikToK, 2022).