Natural Flavors Anyone?

After receiving the following email from an NIRC member:

Thank you for your website. It's incredibly informative. I have  always wondered what, specifically, is meant by the ingredient listed as "natural flavors". A few years ago, I was observing a strict vegan diet and was cautioned that the umbrella-term "natural flavors" often meant animal-derived. I can't remember where I read that, if you all could shed some light I would be most grateful.

We felt this subject might prove interesting for many of our members so we did a little digging on the Federal Government sites to find the actual definition and pdf files related to 'natural flavors'. Granted most cosmetics or bath and body care products don't contain natural flavorings but there are exceptions such as ~ lip balms or maybe.... 'edible massage oils'.

The exact definition of natural flavorings & flavors from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:


The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, 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 or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in Secs. 182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in Sec. 172.510 of this chapter.
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