Editor's Note: Synthetics: Safe, Sustainable and Stigmatized


We experience a variety of synthetic versions of naturals in our daily lives. Electronic music, for example, has evolved to imitate an infinite number of sounds, from an acoustic guitar to disco space lasers. But the mission is the same: to create a compelling, engaging, quality experience for the listener.

The Bread & (Naturally-Flavored) Butter of F& F

One of my favorite definitions of artificial flavors comes from Science.com, in its segment, How Stuff Works [1]. It says that “artificial flavors are simply chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavor in some way.” It’s a simple, unbiased definition that tells us that synthetics are inspired by nature.

It’s clear that synthetic ingredients are thrown under the bus when it comes to public opinion; whereas natural ingredients are revered. As a result, I can sense the frustration in our industry. After all, synthetic ingredients are the bread and butter of F&F – not to mention the rigorous research, testing and efficacy of synthetics that typically offer more stability in formulations than naturals.

So how do we break the stigma attached to synthetics? How do we convey to the public that synthetics are synonymous with safe, sustainable and cost effective formulations? (page 40). As our world population continues to grow, the use of synthetics will be fundamental to address our lack of global resources. Despite how bleak that sounds, it’s an opportunity to focus on sourcing (page 30) rather than solely on methods.

“In all of human history, the food supply has never been more abundant, diverse or safe [2],” said the authors of “The Fear Babe.” Synthetics are certainly responsible for a bulk of that safety. It’s time to bring them into the light.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Happy learning to you.

With warmth from New York City,

Deniz Ataman
Managing Editor



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