Are Natural Flavors Vegan?

When you look at the list of ingredients on packaged food, it’s common you’ll see natural flavors on the list. But for most of us, this sounds like they are part of the ingredients that make up that product.

In fact, they are an ingredient that’s added for several reasons. It can be part of the fragrance, taste, or simply to make it smell fresh.

But if you happen to be Vegan, some of these natural flavors won’t be appealing.

Here are the facts:

Vegan And Non-Vegan Natural Flavors

According to the FDA, there is nothing wrong with natural flavors that are used in everyday products. But their official list of ingredients will be a surprise to those who are vegetarian and Vegan.

Are natural flavors Vegan? Let’s take a look at the list below.

Vegan Natural Flavors

  • Spice
  • Herb
  • Bud
  • Root
  • Bark
  • Fruit or fruit juice
  • Vegetable or vegetable juice
  • Leaf or similar plant material
  • Edible yeast
  • Fermentation products

Non-Vegan Natural Flavors

  • Meat or fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Animal oil essence

As you can see there are many vegan natural flavors but also some non-vegan natural flavors. And the biggest problem is that you don’t know how much is being put into your natural flavors.

The reason is simple as many companies use what is called the secret recipe’. All companies do this to have a unique taste, smell, and flavor.

Chances are, the percentages are so little that it might not be so significant. Since you and I don’t have access to these secret blends, it’s not so easy unless you’re a chemist. Or perhaps you do some investigating on your own.

This is where I can help you see what commonly goes into these natural flavors normally.

Take a look at this next part.

Where Non-Vegan Natural Flavors Are Often Used

You might be shocked to find out that wine is on the list of products that has non-vegan products used. There are clarifiers in wine that often get narrowed-down to two products.

These include earth-based materials and then there are animal-based materials. You don’t know which one is used unless you happen to buy any Kosher-certified wine.

You might think that you could make an estimated guess if artificial flavors are creeping into your food? One good example could be granola bars with cream flavoring. But obviously, there is no dairy listed… Hmmm, this could have dairy or egg products added in the natural flavors.

This is an easy shot, but would you ever guess that chips that have seafood flavoring? Yes, some products indeed have natural flavors if it says it does.

Are there natural flavors added that you don’t see listed?

How many times have you tasted a hint of raspberry or vanilla in your sweet snacks?

According to the Swiss-based company Givaudan, they’ve revealed the anal gland of the beaver is an acceptable FDA natural flavor! If you like drinking Snapple peach tea, you’ll know exactly what the problem is.

This is most likely beaver anus!

Want another shocker to worry about? How about the Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit refresher… According to this recipe, there is no mango, but there is their syrup flavor that has natural flavors.

Go figure that vanilla is also a substitute natural flavor that also comes from the beaver anal gland.

Enjoy that thought while you drink the iced caramel macchiato with vanilla syrup.


If you see products with the vegan label from and then you know that natural flavors are vegan.

Other than that, the only way to be sure is to contact the manufacturer and ask.

Some will happily share the ingredients in their natural flavors and some will not.

I hope this helps you in your journey for knowledge about vegan natural flavors.

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