What is an artificial flavouring?

What is an artificial flavour?

If you wanted to make a strawberry milkshake at home, you’d pour some milk into a blender, add some strawberries and a chunk of ice cream and whizz it all up until it was frothy.
But if you were a food manufacturer, you might try to find the cheapest way to make a milkshake. Strawberries are quite expensive, so the simplest way to cut costs would be to cut back on the strawberries and use a cheaper artificial flavouring instead.

Here’s a list of chemicals that go into making a typical artificial strawberry flavouring – the sort you might find in a strawberry flavour milkshake or strawberry flavour dessert. It goes like this:

myl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl- 2-butanone (10% solution in alcohol), ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, undecalactone, vanillin and solvent.

Phew!

Artificial flavourings are cheap, so can cut the cost of food, but don’t have the nutritional goodness of real ingredients like meat, fruit and vegetables.
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