Not All Natural Flavoring is Natural - Love My Flavor Drops

Not All Natural Flavoring is Natural

Natural Flavoring

Natural flavoring – a term that sounds straightforward, yet its interpretation and regulation vary significantly from one country to another. Among the stark differences in standards lie those between the United States and New Zealand.

 In the United States, the definition of "natural flavoring" is notoriously broad. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers natural flavoring as any substance derived from a plant or animal source, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, meat, poultry, seafood, and their fermentation products. However, the FDA allows the use of synthetic/chemical solvents when developing a “natural flavor”. This means, natural flavoring that starts from a natural source, can have many different synthetic chemicals mixed in with it during the development process. They call these “incidental additives”. “Incidental additives” are not required to be disclosed on ingredient labels. So, beverage and food manufacturers don’t have to show them.

This means that in the US, products with “natural flavoring” may have a lot more than just the natural flavoring in them. It’s understandable why so many US consumers are very weary of any product with “natural flavors” on the label.

New Zealand does not follow the US guidelines for natural flavoring.   Instead, they follow the stringent European guidelines which state that natural flavoring must be derived from natural sources without the use of artificial additives, synthetic chemicals, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They do NOT allow any “incidental additives” or synthetic/chemical or inorganic solvents to be used when developing a natural flavor. 

And the EU guidelines also require manufacturers to only use traditional food processes when developing a natural flavor. Such as heating/cooking, cutting, grinding, pressing, fermentation etc…to extract the natural flavors. These strict guidelines make, natural flavoring from New Zealand some of the strictest and cleanest natural flavoring in the world.

Regulatory Framework

The regulatory framework surrounding natural flavoring in the United States is complex and often criticized for its loopholes and lack of transparency. While the FDA regulates the safety of food additives, including natural flavoring substances, the agency's oversight is limited, and manufacturers have considerable leeway in determining what qualifies as "natural."

In contrast, New Zealand boasts a robust regulatory framework governed by agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). These agencies set strict guidelines and standards for the sourcing, processing, labeling, and advertising of natural flavoring substances. Any ingredient labeled as "natural flavoring" must meet the MPI's rigorous criteria for safety, quality, and authenticity, providing consumers with peace of mind and confidence in the products they consume.


Transparency is paramount when it comes to understanding what is in a product and trusting the product ingredients.  Unfortunately, in the US this trust and transparency has been broken due to FDA regulations allowing incidental ingredients, such as synthetic chemicals and solvents, in so called natural flavoring. And, not mandating these incidental ingredients be shown on the label.

Due to this lack of transparency, there are more and more consumers, who will not purchase a product with natural flavoring on its label.

Products that follow the EU guidelines, such as Vital Zing Flavor Drops, are committed to delivering clean ingredients, with transparency in the ingredients. In New Zealand, not only are the regulations for natural flavoring more stringent, but transparent labeling practices are also enforced.  Allowing consumers to trust the product ingredients label and feel confident the product was created following the highest standards in the world.

How to Find Products with Real Natural Flavoring

One of the best ways to find products with clean ingredients and transparency is to look for products that are made in New Zealand, and European countries. Since these countries follow some of the strictest guidelines for natural flavoring you can rest easy knowing any products made in those countries hold their product standards and ingredients to some of the strictest in the world.

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