what exactly is “natural” flavoring?

If you’re a label reader, you may have taken comfort in the word “natural” that sometimes appears next to “flavoring.”

It’s time to think twice.

Some of what falls into that category is hydrolized vegetable protein, which also sounds innocuous but from some manufacturers is the subject of a nationwide recall due to Salmonella contamination. The latter isn’t such a problem in foods that will be cooked. More insidiously, HVP can show up as flavorings in products such as salad dressing and many snack foods.

To make matters worse, even Salmonella-free HVP can trigger food sensitivities for people. The product is made by breaking down soy, corn or wheat — themselves common allergens — into amino acids. One of those, glutamic acid, can combine with salt to make MSG, without showing up on the label.

So, label readers, be skeptical. And if you see an unspecified ingredient called “flavor,” consider heading for the veggie aisle and making your own from scratch. (Via Huffington Post.)



Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash. I have no idea what it is supposed to be, but it seemed like a good fit for this post.