October 15, 2018 (WASHINGTON) - The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association is aware of the recently filed case, Rice et al vs. National Beverage Corporation, involving labeling claims of flavored sparkling water products. Although FEMA will not comment on pending litigation, the four flavoring substances identified in the plaintiff’s complaint are present naturally in a variety of foods and may be produced in a manner that is consistent with FDA’s definition of natural flavor at 21 CFR 101.22(a)(3).
Based on the FDA definition, the use of “artificial” and “natural” to describe a flavor is largely based on where the flavor-imparting ingredients used to make that flavor come from and the processes used to create the flavor. Therefore, if a flavor is considered natural, it originates from a natural source, such as a strawberry, and is produced using one of several common food preparation processes in accordance with FDA rules. Flavors composed of ingredients made by people and not nature are called artificial flavors.
FEMA continues to support accurate labeling of flavors and foods containing added flavors in accordance with FDA’s labeling regulations.
The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States (FEMA) is composed of flavor manufacturers, flavor users, flavor ingredient suppliers, and others with an interest in the U.S. flavor industry. Founded in 1909, it is the national association of the U.S. flavor industry. FEMA is committed to assuring a substantial supply of safe flavoring substances. More information about FEMA is available at www.FEMAFLAVOR.org.