What are they? Simply put, natural flavors come from plant or bacteria by-products, or are made by chemists experimenting with molecules. They can be made from anything that occurs naturally such as parts of plants or animals.
In 2006 the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) ruled that manufacturers must declare when natural flavors contain one or more of the eight major food allergens:(peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish). According to 21 C.F.R. S 101,22(a)(3): “[t]he terms 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.”