A Natural Conversation
Editorial Advisory Board
President and CEO,
Flavor Dynamics, Inc.
Ph.D, Independent vanilla and
Independent flavor consultant
BRIAN M. LAWRENCE
Natural Products Editor,
Perfumer & Flavorist magazine;
Journal of Essential Oil Research
Senior flavorist, abelei flavors
President, Leslie C. Smith
Regulatory affairs manager,
FONA International, Inc.
Independent flavorist and author
As the muse of F&F, naturals are the headliner on the product label. In the last issue, we explored the safety, sustainability and efficiency of synthetics. This issue features creativity in research and application inspired by naturals.
What Does Natural Mean?
Consumer Reports National Research Centera polled more than 1,000
adults regarding natural food labeling back in 2015. Regarding foods, they
asked the question, “What does natural mean?” Of those polled, 85% said “no
chemicals were used during processing;” 84% said “no artificial ingredients
or colors” are present; and 82% said “no GMOs.”
In the same poll, shoppers regarded environmental concerns (88%) and
animal testing (84%) just as highly as buying natural products. It’s critical
to note that synthesized materials offer an environmentally sustainable and
animal cruelty-free alternative to naturals. Yet, there still seems to be a gap.
What about developing a new language for both synthetic and natural
materials? Researchers at Rutgers are developing an olfactory lexicon for
fresh basil (page 36), which will help establish basil’s presence in fragranced
products. Though this language is for a specific ingredient, we can use this
research on a macro level to help the public “listen” to what naturals and
synthetics “say” on the label. For example, creating a label that features the
benefit of a particular synthetic (i.e., X ingredient saved X hectares of lavender fields) would address consumer concerns on environmental welfare.
On the other side of the leaf, naturals continue to be the focal point in
personal care and food products, with transparency and innovative formulations as the foundation for growth (page 20). Whether naturals are present
in the lab or on the shelves, it’s only “natural” for the industry to continue
I hope you enjoy this issue. Happy learning to you.
With warmth from New York City,