Artificial flavorings can be made from virtually anything! We don’t know what’s in them and neither does the Food and Drug Administration since manufacturers are not required to disclose this information. They can be composed of dozens of miscellaneous chemicals, but usually use forms of petroleum.
Imitation vanilla (which goes under the very similar name of “vanillin”) is the only synthetic flavoring that is listed by name. For many years it was made from sulfite liquor — the waste product of pulp mills. Today, fake vanilla is made from petroleum products.
Want some “natural” flavoring?
One consumer wrote to us, “My local supermarket carries a large selection of Happy Home Flavorings. One particular bottle really stood out — their “Natural Orange,” which was a day-glo color. Here are the ingredients: natural flavor, water, propylene glycol, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, ester gum, sugar, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, and FD&C Red #40. Not the ingredients for a “Happy Home!”
“Well, their Natural Peppermint Flavor was uncolored so maybe it would be a bit more forthright. Here are the ingredients in Happy Home Natural Peppermint Flavor: propylene glycol and artificial flavors!”
“Natural and Artificial Flavors” is often listed on foods. This implies that the flavors are mostly natural, but this ain’t so! Companies can use a tiny amount of natural flavorings in a vat of synthetic ones, and still get away with that wording.
Why pay for real raspberries when you can use the imitation version?
Vanillin, Ethylvanillin, Alphaionone, Maltol, 1-(p-hydroxy-phenyl)-3-Butanone, Dimethyl Sulphide, 2,5-Dimethyl-N-(2-pyrazinyl) Pyrrole
The synthetic sweeteners eliminated on the Feingold Program include: Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), Sucralose (Splenda), Acesul-fame K (Sunette, Sweet One), Neotame, Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin).
There is abundant research and clinical reports on the negative effects of these sweeteners (and there is also plentiful research claiming they are safe, but we question the source of funding for them).