“Natural Flavor” is defined by the FDA in CFR 21 101.22 a 3. See below.
The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in §§182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in §172.510 of this chapter.
For example, the rind of citrus fruits contain oils. These oils are the main contributor to the aroma and flavor of the fruit. Harvesting oil from the orange rinds results in orange essential oil. This oil is then added to foods and/or beverages to enhance or add orange flavor.
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