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What is a natural flavouring?

For the flavouring to be described as natural, it must be 100% derived from natural sources. If reference is also given to the source, e.g a ‘natural lemon flavouring’, then 95% of the flavouring must be derived from lemons. The remaining 5% must also be natural, but allows manufacturers to bring out different characteristics of the flavouring to suit different products. Additional rules apply for other types of natural flavourings.

How safe are flavourings?

All flavouring substances, natural or man-made have been through an evaluation process and been authorised as safe by the European Food Standards Agency. Rules exist for the preparation of flavouring preparations, thermal process flavourings, flavour precursors and food ingredients with flavouring properties to ensure their safe use.

What is a flavour enhancer?

A flavour enhancer does not add a flavour of its own, but instead brings out the flavour of food. Salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG; E621) are examples of flavour enhancers. They are not the same as flavourings and appear separately on a label.

Can flavourings contain allergens?

It is possible for certain flavourings to contain allergens, particularly those derived from foods which are common allergens, such as nuts, wheat, mustard, shellfish etc. Where a flavouring does contain an allergen which is required to be labelled, this will be indicated on the packaging.

Are ‘natural  flavours’ better for us than ‘artificial flavours’?

Natural and artificial flavours are composed of the same molecules. Nutritionally, there is no difference between natural and artificial flavours. Usually, a products source of nutrition has nothing to do with flavours additives that are included. Both natural and artificial flavours are responsible for making flavours that are used to make foods enticing.