Friday, March 30, 2012: 10:03:31 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Consumers sceptical about nature identical flavouring

Survey shows half of the respondents doubting the safety of the product using nature identical flavouring

The Indian government came down hard and heavy on food products using synthetic colours and flavours and the biggest impact of this was on the food processing industry. Food producers not only had to find a natural substitute for these chemicals but also ensure that they were safe for consumption for both adults and children.

 
Advent of new technology has made it easier for companies to produce nature identical flavouring substances and most of the food products used in the market seems to be using it. The question of safety of these products however remains and nutritionists have often raised concerns about the same.
 
Consumers split over safety
 
A recent survey by FoodProcessing360 showed voters split about their opinion on the safety of the nature identical flavours. While 50% felt that these flavours were the healthiest options, the remaining 50% disagreed on the same.
 
According to Dr V H Potty, renowned food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (India), Mysore, “Flavour is a composite term that signifies the cumulative effect of colour, aroma, taste and texture. With many artificial and synthetic colorants banned during the last two decades, only a very few are left that can be used. Today, large scale shift from synthetic to natural colorants is perceptible amongst processors, as the former are costlier to use and have much less tintorial power than their synthetic counterparts. One of the earliest cases of banning synthetic colorants was in tomato ketchup and it is a tribute to the industry that suitable varieties with intense red colour were developed soon.”
 
As explained by homemaker Bidisha Roy, “I avoid feeding my children flavoured foods. Be it nature identical or permitted synthetic flavours, I do not trust both.”
 
While public perception towards the flavours might be mixed, processors across the world have adapted to the new technique in a major way in recent years.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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