What do no artificial flavors actually mean?

"Without additives" - nevertheless colored, flavored and enhanced in taste

"Without flavor-enhancing additives"

Foods with this advertising message appeal to customers who want to do without flavor enhancers, especially glutamate. Many products that advertise without this additive still contain glutamate: It is hidden in other ingredients, especially in yeast extract, but also in soy protein, soy sauce and seasoning, and then does not have to be named in the list of ingredients.

Yeast extract is an ingredient that is obtained from baker's or brewer's yeast, for example. Yeast naturally contains the substance glutamate, which has a taste-enhancing effect. It is concentrated by making extract. Seasonings are produced by chemical or enzymatic cleavage of protein (egg white) from protein-containing vegetable or animal raw materials. This creates glutamates that enhance the taste.

These ingredients enhance the taste of soups, meat broths and other foods, but do not legally count as flavor enhancers.

Without additives "lt. Law"

Often one also finds references like "according to the law without preservatives". The addition “according to the law” means that the product must not contain any preservatives according to the legal provisions and therefore are not present.

The advertising statement “No preservatives” on a product that is legally not allowed to contain any preservatives is considered misleading. It is advertising that goes without saying, because the buyer can consider the advertised property to be a particular advantage of the product and be misled by it.

Manufacturers avoid with the specification "acc. Law “mislead you by pointing out that the law requires the food to be produced without preservatives.

However, a survey on food clarity indicates that some consumers do not understand the phrase “by law” correctly.

Food Clarity Study Results

The representative research of the project "Food Clarity" shows that consumers often misunderstand "without" advertising.

When advertising “free from flavor enhancers”, they often assume that the product does not contain any flavors or ingredients containing glutamate such as yeast extract.

In the case of a fruit yoghurt with the indication “without colorings”, consumers predominantly expect that the color comes only from strawberries. You do not expect any coloring or other coloring ingredients such as beetroot juice.

Another study shows that the legally defined aroma terms such as “natural aroma” or “aroma” are difficult to distinguish for consumers. For example, 44 percent of those surveyed said that the term “natural raspberry flavor” indicated that the flavor was artificially produced. In fact, the natural raspberry flavor must consist of at least 95 percent raspberries.

A non-representative survey of food clarity also indicates that many consumers misunderstand the phrase “no preservatives by law”. Just under half of the participants chose the correct meaning.