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What is this?
Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.
This is a typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a strawberry milk shake. Often flavor compounds contain more ingredients than the foods that they give flavor to.
The federal Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to disclose the ingredients of their color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
Artificial flavors and colors are made from petroleum and one of its byproducts, benzene, a flammable colorless, carcinogenic, sweet-smelling, liquid solvent. Artificial vanilla manufacturing starts a long way from tropical orchid flower fields, the origin of real vanilla. Synthetic vanilla flavoring, called vanillin, is made in petrochemical plants in China and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
To make things more confusing, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and MSG are often masked by other names: natural flavors, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monsodium glutamate, hydrolized plant protein, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolized oat flour, malt extract, malt flavoring, bouillon, broth, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural beef, chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices, carrageenan, enzymes, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate.
What’s a mom to do? Of course read labels, but don’t be fooled by the nutrition label. Eat whole foods and only buy pharmaceutical grade supplements from US manufacturers.