Consumers all over the world, but particularly in the more developed countries, are becoming increasingly conscious of the nutritional value and the safety of their food and its ingredients. At the same time, there is an increased preference for natural foods and food ingredients which are generally believed to be safer, more healthful, and less subject to hazards than foods containing artificial food additives.
This preference for natural foods clearly has its roots in a long tradition of food selection, preparation and consumption. It is not surprising, therefore, that “natural” in this context is generally considered to include all foods which have been prepared or processed in a traditional way.
Since what is considered natural depends on the social and cultural history of each civilization, there is no clear agreement among regulating and governing bodies as to what should be the definition and limitation of the term natural.