The Serve

What are “natural flavors” ???

Wed, Aug 10, 2022

From beverages to ice cream, to food packaging I’m sure you've seen ‘natural flavors’ listed somewhere on the packaging and assumed the best. Or maybe you thought nothing of it because the term natural means natural, right? Sadly, this is not the case. Before coming to a conclusion on which product to purchase, have you ever asked yourself what the term “natural flavors” actually means? 

The Government regulations define natural flavors as 

“...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.” (Nelson)

 Essentially the flavoring in the product has been chemically altered to imitate a particular taste or smell. These “natural flavors” are made in a lab in order to create a flavor enhancing additive which makes the product taste better resulting in consumers purchasing more of it. 

Here are a few well known beverages that you may not know utilize natural flavors….

On the surface you may not be able to distinguish a natural flavor from what is actually authentic, but behind the scenes there is so much more that goes into a natural flavor than you would assume. Do not let the term ‘natural’ trick you into thinking the ingredients you are consuming are authentically natural, they aren't. Certified organic foods and flavors are held to a much higher standard when it comes to the labeling of them. The FDA has a list of 3,000 chemicals that can be included in your ingredients but still labeled as a natural flavor. 

Here at Volley we wanted to create a transparent, trustworthy brand for people who care about what they are putting into their bodies. Not only do our seltzers taste good, but they ARE what they say they are, just 3 ingredients. 100% blue agave tequila, sparkling water, and organic juice. That’s it. We also make a point to explicitly name our ingredients on both our packaging as well as individual cans because with ingredients this simple and high quality we have nothing to hide.

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