vanillaThe market seems to be in a confusion over what can be described as natural flavourings. You would think that the EU who drew up Reg 1334/2008 would be the beacon of light for all those who would otherwise founder on the rocks of incorrect labelling. However and it is my personal experience that it is very unclear.  To quote from 1334/2008

“natural flavouring substance” shall mean a flavouring substance obtained by appropriate physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes from material of vegetable, animal or microbiological origin either in the raw state or after processing for human consumption by one or more of the traditional food preparation processes listed in Annex II. Natural flavouring substances correspond to substances that are naturally present and have been identified in nature”

The two front runners for the natural tag seem to be ex-turmeric and ex-ferulic acid. I am convinced that ex-ferulic is OK to be labelled natural but not quite yet convinced about ex-turmeric.  I have asked IFEAT who have not replied despite three askings and I asked the Food Standards Agency UK but only got referred to the regulations. they are occupied at the moment of course with horse meat and correct labelling there and seeing if they can blame another government department!!

It would be good if there was a clear way of knowing especially if you are , say, an ice-cream manufacturer who wants to label correctly.   Can you use ex-turmeric or ex-ferulic ? It would seem obvious that some official body could make it clear or the manufacturer could be involved in falling foul of the law.

Both of these vanillin are expensive and  could they be adulterated and if so what tests can we use to prove they are authentic?  Or are we just creating another potential horse meat ?

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