Natural Flavourings- What are they and why do we use them?

By Elspeth Sargeant

Natural Flavourings- What are they and why do we use them?

Here at Hip Pop, we are obsessed with all things health. One thing that we have noticed becoming very popular is people becoming increasingly interested in what goes into their favourite food and drink. We think that this is brilliant as people are becoming aware of what we are putting in our bodies. One ingredient we get asked about a lot at Hip Pop is Natural Flavourings. But what exactly are Natural Flavourings, why do we use them and how is it different to Artificial Flavourings? Let's get into it in today's blog.

Check out this video: Natural vs Artificial Flavourings- Why do we use them?

From our YouTube channel - The Gut Health Channel

What is a flavour: 

First things first, let's get into what a flavour actually is. A flavour is a compound added to a drink or food to make it taste of that flavour. In this sense, Natural Flavourings and Artificial Flavourings are similar as they are both compounds that add flavour to food and drink. However, they are different in multiple different ways. Keep reading to find out why.

Nature VS Lab: 

One of the biggest differences between Natural and Artificial Flavourings is where they originate from. Artificial Flavourings are synthetically synthesised in a lab. Whereas, with Natural Flavourings their compounds derive from Nature, so they are extracted from the natural source. 

Natural and Artificial Flavourings

Why do we use Natural Flavourings

You may be wondering why we don’t use juices to sweeten our drinks and add flavour. The reason we add Natural Flavours is all about taste. For example, if you wanted to make a passionfruit kombucha and you want the kombucha to taste exactly like a gloriously scrumptious passionfruit you would have to add a lot, and we mean a lot, of passionfruit juice. The issue with adding lots of juice is that it makes the sugar content skyrocket. 

Therefore, if we want the drink to taste exactly like the flavour described by using juices, for example, passionfruit, we are going to have to cut sugar out elsewhere. This means maybe using natural or artificial sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. Here at Hip Pop that is a big no-no for us, we do not like sweeteners as we don’t enjoy the taste, the mouth feel and the negative studies surfacing about how natural and artificial sweeteners can be negative for human health. 

By using Natural Flavourings allows us to not use as much juice or juice concentrate, and ensure that the sugar levels of our drinks are down without resorting to natural or artificial sweeteners. It also allows us to continue producing delicious drinks that taste good and do good.

PS The really cool thing about adding Natural Flavourings is the balance and the aroma. Taste and smell are intertwined and Natural Flavourings allow us to add certain aromas or smells to our drinks which compliments the overall experience of our drink.

But are there Chemicals in Natural Flavourings?

Chemicals and compounds can be found in Natural Flavourings. This can be a daunting thing but we want to reassure you that it is not. Everything is a chemical, even water! At Hip Pop HQ when we are making our Kombucha through production we make ethanol, which is a chemical too. The word chemical can be a scaremongering word that often has negative connotations if they are found in food and drink. However, that is not always the case. 

In Natural Flavourings Chemicals and Compounds are used. We can use our Orange Natural Flavourings as an example of how Chemicals and Compounds are used in this flavour. In our Orange Natural Flavouring one of the compounds used in Limonene. This is used because the taste of a harvest can vary from year to year. One year's orange harvest could be spot on, whereas the other years are not so great due to the weather, poor harvest and lots more factors. If the orange harvest of that year has been very sweet, we may use Limonene in the form of grapefruit to round off the flavour with a little tartness.

Let's wrap this up

It is important to know that there are not a lot of studies looking into Natural Flavours. But the general scientific consensus is that Natural Flavourings are completely safe. At Hip Pop, because Natural Flavourings are so intense, we only need to use a very very small amount of them. So in a nutshell, that is why at Hip Pop we use Natural Flavourings because we think that it is the best way to create beautifully tasting drinks for you lovely lot that not only taste good but do good.

 Hip Pop Kombucha


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