Foods With Added Flavors: What Does It All Mean?


Natural flavors. Artificial flavors. Organic natural flavors. Other added flavors. Let’s be real: If you went to your kitchen right now and grabbed the first food you saw, you’d probably spot one of these mysterious phrases on its ingredient label. But does anyone know what these different types of added flavors really mean? Lucky for you – we do, and we’re going to break it all down for you in this third and final part of our “added flavors” blog series. Haven’t read the first two parts of this series? Click here to read about what “natural flavors” means on a food label, and here to learn whether or not you should be consuming them. 

What’s the difference between natural, artificial, organic, and other added flavors? Should you be ingesting any of them? Are there foods out there that don’t contain any added flavors? It’s time to find out! And while you’re here, click our “Shop” page to stock up on The Pizza Plant. Our pizzas are 100% plantbased, made with wholesome organic ingredients, and so tasty, they have vegans and meat-eaters alike coming back for seconds. 

What Are Natural Flavors?

If you read our last two blog posts, you’ll remember that we covered natural flavors quite in depth. But, as a refresher, natural flavors are derived from natural ingredients (like plants and animal products) and heavily diluted with oil or water. They contain no nutritional or caloric value and (as long as they aren’t made with preservatives and additives, which unfortunately, many are) are perfectly safe to eat. To read more about natural flavors and whether or not you should be consuming them, click here.

What Are Artificial Flavors?

Huge shocker incoming… Artificial flavors are not derived from natural ingredients like plants or animal products. Instead, they are created from chemical mixtures in a lab. Food scientists develop these flavors through manipulation of chemicals like coal tar and crude oil. Additives? The sky’s the limit. In fact, artificial flavors are made using little to no real food ingredients at all. In other words, scientists can make a cereal taste like blueberries without a single blueberry in sight. A soda can be made to taste like vanilla without any real vanilla being included in the product. You can probably predict our stance on whether or not you should consume artificial flavors. For the sake of your health, we recommend steering clear of any food labels that mention these guys.

What Are Organic Natural Flavors?

Turns out, even organic foods can be made with natural flavors. The difference is, organic natural flavors (key word: organic) must follow the same guidelines as foods labeled organic. They cannot contain synthetic solvents, preservatives, or GMOs, making them far more safe to consume than regular natural flavors. As a rule of thumb, a food with organic ingredients or flavors is more than likely cleaner and better for you, so we recommend trying to grab foods and beverages labeled as organic whenever possible.

What About “Other” Added Flavors?

It would be hard for us to dive into each and every “added flavor” that you find on food labels, because unfortunately, there are lots of them. If you’re interested in learning more, we recommend reading this article that breaks down a few more different types of added flavors.

Although some can be safe to consume, it’s best to stay away from all added flavors when possible. At The Pizza Plant, our plantbased pizzas are free from natural, artificial, organic, and all other added flavors. We only use real, organic, wholesome, and delicious ingredients and have nothing to hide. You can read our nutrition labels here, full of ingredients that you can actually pronounce, look and taste great, and will have you feeling your best. 

Found this post insightful? Be sure to spread the plantbased message by sharing it with a friend or family member. For all The Pizza Plant grocery locations and to find one near you, visit our store locator page. To order nationwide shipping, visit our delivery page

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