The Regulatory Landscape of Natural Flavors


Natural and clean-label flavors and fragrances are in high demand. According to a recently published Datamonitor report, consumers today increasingly want to do the “right thing,” and follow the latest trends in the natural products market. Meanwhile, ongoing market research shows that consumers are demanding natural flavorings. “Natural” has become part of the consumer’s mainstream vocabulary.

In recent years, consumer confidence in the food supply has decreased as a result of well-publicized product recalls and other food scares, as well as a general distrust of food science. As a result, many consumers now question where their food comes from, how it is produced and what is in it. They are interested in authentic, natural flavors; they want to understand what they’re eating. Above all, they demand transparency.

This trend is recognizable in the marketplace; “natural,” “fresh,” “wholesome” and “balanced” are buzzwords seen in marketing and food packaging. But what is labeled “natural” on food packaging may not be the same as the consumers’ actual understanding of the term. Natural does not necessarily mean that an ingredient comes from nature. With a great number of new technologies available to the food and beverage industry, ingredients are produced in a wide variety of ways. So, what qualifies an ingredient to be labeled as natural and what is implied by the term?

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