Worst Food Series 3: Artificial Flavors

By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

Artificial Flavors
What’s particularly alarming when you see a word like “artificial flavor” on an ingredients label is that there’s no way to know what it actually means. It could mean that one unnatural additive is included, or it could be a blend of hundreds of additives. 

Strawberry artificial flavor can contain nearly 50 chemical ingredients, for example.Or take the artificial flavoring called diacetyl, which is often used as a butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. Research shows diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Genetically engineered flavor enhancers can also be listed under the artificial flavor (or natural flavor) label.

Worst Food Series 4: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Worst Food Series 2: Synthetic Trans Fats