The Truth About Natural Flavors

There is an abundance of misinformation online regarding flavoring in foods and dietary supplements. Natural-based flavors have specific guidelines on what can be legally labeled as “Natural.” Per the FDA, natural flavor is defined as “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” [1].

Is it perfectly clear now? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Although it may seem like a lost cause, we’ll help you unravel all of the scientific jargon to get a better understanding.   

What are classified as flavors? 

Basically, the guidelines allow for a flavor to be classified as natural if it has been sourced from a plant or animal in origin. It also must not result in any addition of nutritive value to the given food or supplement.  

With that being said, flavoring is sophisticated and is not confined to just one extract or concentrate of a fruit or plant. For example, there are many offerings of strawberry flavors as each layer is a bit different in the specific taste and fragrance they add to the product. In other words, flavor is more complex than just the initial taste that hits your tongue. The Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) defines flavor as “the entire range of sensations that we perceive when we eat a food or drink a beverage. Flavor encompasses a substance’s taste, smell, and any physical traits we perceive” [2]. That’s right, the cold sensation you get from spearmint or the heat you feel from a pepper also contributes to an item’s descriptive flavor. 

In fact, also from FEMA, you can even combine essences of lemon, banana, raspberry and pineapple to get a unique version of the flavor……. strawberry! Flavors can be combined in an endless amount of ways to design a specific and unique flavor. Referred to as flavorists, trained scientists experiment with different essences in virtually limitless combinations to create exciting and delicious flavor profiles for products. All can be achieved with natural-based flavors.

Where do we source our flavors here at Manna? 

Now that we’ve helped shed some light on what exactly flavoring means in foods and supplements, we’d like to offer some insight on what flavors we specifically utilize in Manna products. 

Here at Manna, we utilize only natural flavors in our line of products. Some are pure extracts or concentrates (berry flavors, for example). However, single-sourced extracts and concentrates have shown to become unstable, especially with some flavors that must be highly concentrated to have sufficient flavor impact.  

What are W.O.N.F. flavors? 

We primarily utilize natural flavors classified as “W.O.N.F.” (With Other Natural Flavors). W.O.N.F. is our preferred method to obtain the highest quality natural flavors. Direct concentrates of some of the more delicate or subtle flavors such as blueberry, strawberry or raspberry can require special handling. W.O.N.F. flavors obtain a naturally stronger flavor without the use of artificial enhancers to provide you with the luxury of a true, “all natural” flavoring in your product.

When it comes to these W.O.N.F. flavors, think of each one as a recipe used to create a superior natural flavor, such as the strawberry flavor created through the combination of various fruit essences we described above. Multiple, naturally sourced flavors are blended to create subtleties that a single-source flavor simply cannot. Through this technique, we are able to fine-tune the notes and bring in the accentuated flavor at either the beginning or end of the taste experience. We can also add in a hint of other essences that compliment or bring out certain notes of the main flavor. W.O.N.F. is arguably the most exciting development in natural flavorings that has been seen in decades as it allows our brand to achieve one-of-a-kind flavors.

W.O.N.F. flavors are necessary components since without them, many products would lack the quality of taste we often desire. At Manna, we believe in being transparent with our products and what goes into them. 

The flavors of our products are obviously important since we understand that if it doesn’t taste good, people won’t come back for more. Our team also strives to make each of our flavors so tasty and unique that our products stand out in ways other brands do not. We’ll continue to utilize W.O.N.F. flavors to ultimately satisfy your taste buds, because after all, healthy additions to your regime should not only be beneficial for your body, but enjoyable for your palate as well. 


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