The demand for natural flavorings in foods and beverages has increased worldwide, and this has imposed an ever-challenging problem to the flavor industry as good marketing strategists take advantage of this trend.
The toxicological properties of approved artificial ingredients are well documented, possible health hazards have been assessed and the products cleared for use, either with no restrictions or with specific use levels and applications. Equivalent chemicals in natural form have the same toxicological properties and limitations. Any change from artificial to natural ingredients has to be commercially justified, since natural ingredients are normally less cost effective.
Current legislation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governing natural flavors or natural flavorings in the United States defines naturals in 21 CFR 101.22 (a) (3) as isolates from both plant and animal sources, fermentation products and commonly called “process flavor products” which are flavors derived from thermal reaction and enzymatic treatment, Source materials, processing conditions and isolation techniques are stated, but further work is needed to resolve specific cases.