The Real Deal About Artificial Flavours

Let me ask you this: Have you looked at the ingredients on a food label lately? How about a “processed” food label; like famous brands of cookies, cereals, or snack foods?

 

Do you have those ingredients in your house? Who even knows what all of those ingredients are?

 

There are a ton of artificial, chemical ingredients in foods these days.  If you see an ingredient called "artificial flavour," what exactly does that even mean?

 

For the most part, it is a secret! Seriously! Big food companies don’t want their proprietary flavours to be known, so they’re allowed to say, “artificial flavour” and leave the details out.

 

Um, say what?!

 

 

So, why would a food manufacturer use artificial flavours' in a product, anyway?

 

Consider this: When you make an apple muffin at home, what gives it the apple flavour?

 

Apples of course! Like real, whole, chopped, or shredded apples or applesauce.

 

But let’s say you’re a big food company and you’re making thousands of apple muffins every day. In a factory. On an assembly line.

 

How would you process the huge number of apples that are to be chopped, grated or made into applesauce? Would you have a separate "Apple Room" where all the apple processing happens? What if one batch is slightly riper, or tastes slightly different from the rest? Will your customers notice a different taste?

 

Apples are perishable - they go bad.  So how would you guarantee the apples won't go bad? (Remember the saying "it only takes one bad apple to ruin the whole bunch?").

 

And what if you can have an apple flavour that tastes better than using real apples? Something that makes people want to keep buying them every week.  It's true - some of the artificial flavours are engineered to give an even better taste than the real food.

 

Companies will often opt for the easier and more profitable option like artificial flavours.

 

Artificial flavours last longer and will be virtually identical batch after batch.  In our apple muffin example, artificial flavours used to make an apple muffin are ready to go, so you don't need to peel, cut, or worry about apples going brown, or that they're not tasting "appley" enough.

 

Oh, and it’s way cheaper than using real, whole apples.

 

Pro Tip: If the package says "flavoured" in the description, then the flavour is artificial. For example, "apple muffin" contains at least some apple. But, "apple flavoured muffin" contains artificial flavour and no apple.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Big food companies use artificial flavours to reduce costs, make the manufacturing process simpler, reduce waste and even enhance flavour way beyond what the natural ingredient would taste like.

 

They are not added to improve the “healthfulness” or nutrition of the food.

 

 

If you don’t want to buy artificial apple flavoured muffine, you can make this recipe instead😉

 

Recipe (All-natural): Apple Muffins

 

Serves 12

 

1 cup quick oats, uncooked
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup chopped apples
2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix the quick oats and cinnamon. Add the quinoa and mix again. Now add maple syrup, apples and eggs, and mix until just combined.

 

Place 12 muffin liners into a muffin pan. Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ of the way

Place in oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: Before baking, sprinkle each muffin with a touch of cinnamon for extra (natural) flavour.

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