What are ‘Natural Flavors’ on your food label?

At Backyard Bev Co, we pride ourselves in using real ingredients in our products. We want you to read the label and know all of the ingredients, not question them.

Have you ever thought about what ‘Natural Flavors’ are when listed on a label?

Natural flavors as defined by the USDA are, “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolystate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf of similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” 

Even though ‘natural flavors’ must be derived from something natural, and not be chemically manufactured, they are created in labs and may contain dozens of ingredients and typically contain preservatives, emulsifiers, solvents and other “incidental additives”, which can make up 80% or so of the formulation. Some of the most common incidental additives in flavors include: sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol (none of which are labeled).

Even though theses added ingredients don’t contribute to the nutritional value of the food, they can be made from plants or animals, so vegans might want to avoid natural flavors, and people with allergies should also steer clear. 

We want our Mango Jalapeno syrups to have the real flavor of mangos and jalapenos, so we use whole mangos and dried jalapenos. It’s as simple as that. We don’t use any added flavoring, colors or natural ingredients to enhance the taste. This is why our syrups must be refrigerated after opening, and also why they are a little more expensive than mass produced syrups like Monin, Starbucks and Torani.

Cheers to whole ingredients and knowing what is going into your body!

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