You see it on coffee, packaged foods, soups, protein powder, and more…“Artificial Flavors”.
Is this one of those sneaky non-vegan ingredients that you need to avoid, or can you actually eat artificial flavors with a good conscious.
It’s rather frustrating since all the ingredients label says is “artificial flavor,” and never expands on what that artificial flavor is.
Long story short, artificial flavors are vegan-friendly.
I really think it’s useful to understand the core reason behind this.
Here’s a snippet from food labeling regulations for natural and artificial flavors. This is for the United States, but I imagine this particular set of definitions is pretty standard around the world.
The term artificial flavor or artificial flavoring means any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof.
Basically, “artificial flavor” can only refer to products not made from any typical plant or animal product.
This leaves sources like petroleum as options, as well as just synthetically creating chemicals in a lab.
These options are all vegan-friendly as far as I know.