“Natural flavors” appear on many foods–from sodas and cereals, trendy bubbly waters and plant-based meat. Although natural versus artificial flavor might appear healthier at first glance, their health impacts don’t differ in any meaningful way (4). According to flavorist Tom Wright’s company and other flavorists listed as creating natural food flavors are regulated by FEMA; their source could come from plants or animals–though they likely originate in a laboratory instead of being harvested directly.
Natural flavors are defined by the U.S. Government as aroma or flavor chemicals derived from fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, herbs, roots, leaves, flowers buds bark or any part of plants or animals that is fermented in a laboratory and then combined with hundreds of other substances to form their desired flavor; this process takes four days or more for one product alone! Though these mixtures must meet safety regulations they can still cause individual reactions; to be safe it’s wise to always read labels and request ingredient lists when eating out or special diets follower(5)