What is natural flavor?

     Natural flavor is starting to show up regularly on
the ingredient list of processed food. The definition of
natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations 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” (21CFR101.22). What
this gobbledygook means is when you buy say chicken
soup in a can and natural flavor is listed as one of the
ingredients, you would probably be mistaken to assume
that the flavor is actually from chicken. Most likely it is
a concoction created in a laboratory to taste kind of like
chicken, but having a primary purpose of making you
want to eat more so you’ll buy more. So when
politicians and food industry executives talk about
personal choice and say that the consumer is
responsible for eating too much, they are speaking with
forked tongues. The food industry gets people hooked
on their unhealthy, nutritionally bankrupt, pseudo-food
and then have the gall to say that it’s the consumer’s
fault. Baloney!

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