If you’re a parent, you’ll know how important it is to give your kids nutritious foods every day.
But it’s not easy to tell what’s ‘good’ anymore!
The abundance of processed foods on our shelves has made grocery shopping a lot more complicated. It seems nearly every product has a list of ingredients that sound like they’ve been made in a laboratory. Sadly, this is often the case.
The general rule of thumb is that if you don’t recognise it, nor will your body - and certainly nor will your child’s body.
So, what about flavours and extracts?
What are natural extracts?
Natural extracts are “real” ingredients that have been taken from natural food sources, such as plants, fruits, vegetables, or grains.
Natural extracts provide the authentic colours and tastes of their sources. For example, foods made with natural extracts of blueberries will generally have the colour and taste of blueberries! Extracts may also harbour some of the valuable nutrients of their natural sources, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. Some may also provide technological properties such as natural antioxidants or texture.
Natural extracts have a huge range of applications in the food industry, from baked goods to beverages, confectionery, snacks, and many others. They are made by extracting the flavour of the source ingredient into a liquid base. This is usually done with a natural solvent, such as ethyl alcohol.
What are natural flavours?
A large proportion of our groceries today contain added flavours. These flavours are used to change or improve the taste of a product.
Flavours in foods are made up of chemicals that can be natural or synthetic, or a mixture of both. For example, a strawberry is made up of hundreds of different substances that work together to create what we recognize as strawberry “flavour”.
Flavours can be made in many different ways. Natural flavours might be made by compressing whole parts of a plant, such as the oil from the orange rind. These oils are much more concentrated and intense than extracts, and the flavour is often stronger.
One of the biggest differences between natural extracts and natural flavours is the cost. In general, natural flavours cost much more to use in food than artificial flavours.
Then there are artificial flavours. The main difference between natural and artificial flavours is the origin of the flavour chemicals. While natural flavours must be sourced from natural products (plants or animals), artificial flavours are made in a laboratory.
Now, here’s the confusing part. While the original source of natural flavours must be natural, these flavours can also be highly processed and contain many chemical additives. The only way to know this is to check the ingredients label on a product.
So, what’s in Noughty?
The good news is that Noughty fizzy drinks are made with only natural extracts - that is, real ingredients from real fruit, plants, and herbs! Nothing synthetic and nothing artificial. Just the good, honest taste of real foods. Healthy treats don’t get much better than that!