Are Artificial Flavors Vegan?
By Dale Cudmore January 8, 2021
You see it on coffee, packaged foods, soups, protein powder, and more…“Artificial Flavors”.
Is this one of those sneaky non-vegan ingredients that you need to avoid, or can you actually eat artificial flavors with a good conscious?
It’s rather frustrating since all the ingredients label says is “artificial flavor,” and never expands on what that artificial flavor is.
Long story short, artificial flavors are vegan-friendly.
What Artificial Flavors Are Made From
I really think it’s useful to understand the core reason behind this.
Here’s a snippet from food labeling regulations for natural and artificial flavors. This is for the United States, but I imagine this particular set of definitions is pretty standard around the world.
The term artificial flavor or artificial flavoring means any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof.
Basically, “artificial flavor” can only refer to products not made from any typical plant or animal product.
By definition, artificial flavors can’t be derived from what we typically think of as food (that would be considered a “natural flavor.” In other words, artificial flavors are synthetically created.