ingredient information
Flavors Natural Non Meat
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Natural flavoring can contain food allergens March, 2006 Natural flavoring is a "catch all" term used on food labels and merits special scrutiny for those of us reading labels for a food allergic child. According to the current U.S. F.D.A. food labeling regulations, "The term 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." The new labeling law effective in 2006, The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), requires manufacturers to declare if one or more of the 8 major food allergens are contained in a natural flavoring. The top 8 major food allergens are defined as: milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. If you are managing food allergies other than the top 8 major food allergens, however, the new law will not be of assistance to you in identifying the sources in any natural flavoring stated on a label. In conclusion: Natural flavoring can be derived from just about anything made from a natural source! Major allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish and seafood can hide in natural flavorings as can countless other food-derived flavorings derived from other "natural" sources. New product labeling after 2006 will help with products that contain natural flavoring derived from the top 8 major allergens, but some old packages may still be on the shelves from 2005 and will not contain the updated labeling requirements. For allergens other than the top 8 major food allergens, don't make any assumptions about the safety of natural flavoring; be sure to check with the manufacturer to be sure it is safe for your child's unique allergy issues. Reference: Food and Drug Administration. (2004). Foods; labeling of spices, flavorings, colorings and chemical preservatives. In Food Labeling. (21CFR101.22). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access. Retrieved June 7, 2005 from: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/ 12feb20041500/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/aprqtr/21cfr101.22.htm Label Before 2006 "The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolyseate, 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." The new labeling law effective in 2006, The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), requires manufacturers to declare if one or more of the 8 major food allergens are contained in a natural flavoring. The top 8 major food allergens are defined as: milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. If you are managing food allergies other than the top 8 major food allergens, however, the new law will not be of assistance to you in identifying the sources in any natural flavoring stated on a label. The FDA does not require companies to disclose ingredients of color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS ("generally recognized as safe") enabling companies to maintain secrecy of formulas. It also hides the fact that flavors often contain more ingredients than the foods to which they give taste. A typical artificial strawberry flavor contains over 30 chemicals. According to manufacturer safety data sheets those chemicals cause eye irritation, corneal damage, eye burns, skin irritation, severe / permanent damage to digestive tract, gastrointestinal irritation, gastrointestinal tract burns, CNS depression, neurological effects, liver abnormalities, cardiac abnormalities, or other harm. Natural flavor, according to the FDA, must be derived entirely from natural sources (herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, yeast, bark, roots, etc). Consumers prefer to see natural flavors on a label out of a belief they are more healthful. Natural flavor is not necessarily more healthful or purer than an artificial flavor. Almond flavor when derived from natural sources may contain traces of hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison. When derived by mixing oil of clove & amyl acetate, it does not. Natural flavors and artificial flavors are often manufactured at same chemical plants. Flavor manufacturing may also involve biotechnology, using enzyme reactions, fermentation, & fungal and tissue cultures. Flavors created by these methods are considered natural flavors by the FDA. In addition to flavor chemicals also think about genetic engineering of food, DNA or gene alteration, and medicines and hormones given to cows, cattle, hogs, and chickens. What affect does it have upon us? Some are suspected causes of cancer or other problems. When a natural flavor or artificial flavor is added to a food or drink the resultant processed food is no longer natural & is potentially harmful. Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20030608101921/www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-bckg.html