Food Industry Regulation: In-Depth with Labels
Food is all about flavor. It’s an important characteristic of the food we eat every day. You know how fresh foods taste when you make them at home? Fresh bread right from the oven, fresh squeezed orange juice, warm and buttery popcorn. But you can’t always get those fresh flavors, which is where processed foods come in. However, the preservation methods that give processed foods shelf life tend to reduce flavor. So food manufacturers turn to add natural flavors to enhance or maintain the flavor of the food after it’s processed. With that in mind, how do you classify these flavors on labels?
Consumers are getting smarter and savvier when it comes to their food. Regulations for labels constantly change. Both closely examine labels and the requirements for foods to claim certain tags. Consumers also tend to develop more brand loyalty when they feel confident in a food’s ingredient claims. Ensuring you understand the terminology used in specific labels helps classify what your product’s flavor is called on a label. Take a look at our breakdown below to see where your product falls in the category of flavor labeling.
Here’s a list of descriptions of a few key flavor labeling terms used (using Strawberry as an example):
Natural Strawberry Flavor:
Flavors labeled “natural” must only have natural ingredients from the flavor you claim on the label. In this example, the flavors only come from real Strawberries. This means the essential oil, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, or any product of enzymolysis, is derived from a strawberry.
Natural Strawberry (With Other Natural Flavors):
For this label, a flavor contains all natural flavor ingredients, but the flavors are derived from Strawberry as well as other natural flavors. In this instance, Natural Strawberry might be flavored with compounds derived from other berries such as Apple, Raspberry, Blueberry, Pear, etc.
Strawberry Type Flavor:
“Type” appears on labels when you create a flavor from natural ingredients without using the actual label’s flavor. For example, a Strawberry Type flavor is made entirely from natural flavor combinations like Apple, Raspberry, and Pear, but no Strawberry. It’s important to remember this flavor is still derived from all natural ingredients.
Artificial Strawberry Flavor:
You use this particular flavor label when you combine artificial “Strawberry” compounds with other synthetic ingredients. Artificial flavors are made from non-food sources while natural flavors come from foods or other edible things. The flavor source can contain another natural flavor besides Strawberry, but if the label says “artificial” in it, it includes synthetic “Strawberry” ingredients as well.
Natural and Artificial Strawberry Flavor:
Like it’s name suggests, Natural and Artificial Strawberry flavor contains flavors that naturally come from Strawberry plus other artificial ingredients. The natural flavors come from Strawberry or Strawberry derivatives, or other flavors from a natural source.
Where does your product fit in the list of terminology? Do you have any questions about the flavors in your product? Or want to make any adjustments? Our world-class flavor library and top-rated flavor chemists are ready to help. Call us today to get started.