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Showing posts from August 12, 2010

What does the term "natural flavor" mean?

For the most part, exactly what you think it does. Natural flavors are extracted from plant, animal, or dairy products and don't contain synthetic preservatives, says Gary Reineccius, Ph.D., a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota.  One example is orange juice: It's squeezed from the fruit and bottled.  What you may not know is that chemicals are sometimes mixed with natural flavors in the manufacturing process.  Artificial flavors, on the other hand, are totally man-made -- some might be added to cereal, for example, to give it a vanilla taste without using expensive pure vanilla. Bottom line: Natural isn't always "good", and artificial isn't always "bad".  Both must meet the same federal safety standards.

July/August 2010 Women's Health Magazine