What is exactly natural about “Natural Flavors”?


Many products that we all happily consume contain so-called “Natural Flavors”. A couple of examples are Froot Loops, chips, sodas, but also hard seltzers. As the title of this blog post mentions, we are going to find out what natural flavors are, and if they are indeed natural. #TLDR: no. This is the reason KUGI contains 0% natural flavors and 100% natural products. We only use pure organic juices and spices, which actually contribute in nutritional value.

EU Guidelines

If we take a look at the EU guidelines then it needs to adhere to the following: “Natural flavouring substance’ shall mean a flavouring substance obtained by appropriate physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes from material of vegetable, animal or microbiological origin either in the raw state or after processing for human consumption by one or more of the traditional food preparation processes listed in Annex II.” [1] Obviously no one really knows what this means, and it is very open to interpretations. Guess what? Companies interpret this in any such way, that they can synthesize a flavor, and still call it “natural”. One thing that has to be true though, is that somewhere in the production process a natural source was used for part of the “natural flavors”. This doesn’t mean that a watermelon flavor has to contain watermelon, however it needs to contain something of natural source. This is in contrast to complete synthetic flavors, which do not contain any natural source. The problem with natural flavors is that it does not state what kind of preservatives and solvents are allowed. [2] What is also important to note is that companies are using all kinds of enzymes and processes to extract certain flavoring compounds out of the natural products. [3] 


All in all, the term “Natural Flavors” is misleading. The components of natural products have specific ratios that our bodies have adjusted to over millions of years. “Natural flavors” do not adhere to these ratios and are only made to enhance flavors and not to contribute nutritional value to food and beverages. At the KUGI Company we don’t like this for one bit! We want to be honest in what we provide to our customers, and at the same time we want to create a better world, both for our body as for the environment. KUGI contains 100% pure organic ingredients that we are able to track to its source. We don’t use any preservatives, coloring, flavoring of any kind, apart from the pure organic juices and spices that we use. We do however pasteurize before fermenting, and the fermented alcohol and citrus juices (KUGI Elephant and KUGI Gorilla contains lime juice and KUGI Bear contains lemon juice) acts as a natural preservative. 


3 thoughts on “What is exactly natural about “Natural Flavors”?”

    1. Hi Elliott, great to hear that you love our blogs! Unfortunately we are not on Twitter yet, we are on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn though where you can follow our updates. We hope to start a Twitter account pretty soon too, so see you soon!

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