"Natural flavour", "natural flavourings", "natural strawberry flavour and other natural flavours": these and other similar generally accepted terms can be found on the ingredients list of many foods.
According to Regulation (EC) No. 1334/2008 on food flavourings, the term "natural" may only be used for a flavour if that flavour contains solely flavouring extracts and/or natural flavours. Flavour extracts are a mixture of specified substances with aromatic properties, obtained from natural resources such as spices, fruit, herbs, yeast, meat and vegetables.
Example – "Natural Strawberry Flavour"
There are a large number of products featuring the flavour claim "natural", which have the name of food (e.g. cheese) or food category (e.g. spices) or a plant-based flavour carrier (strawberry) or animal-based flavour carrier (poultry) as the name of the flavour. The term "natural" may only be used in connection with this information, if the flavour compound is obtained from the source that it refers to entirely or at least to 95 percent of its weight.
As a result, "natural strawberry flavour" must be obtained to at least 95% from strawberries and the remaining proportion must also come from natural sources. If the strawberry flavour can be identified easily, but the weight percentage of the flavouring obtained from strawberries is below 95% and the remaining flavour comes from other natural flavourings, the expression "Natürliches Erdbeeraroma mit anderen natürlichen Aromen" (natural strawberry flavour with other natural flavours) must be used.
"Natural Flavour" without naming the source
The expression “natural aroma” may be used exclusively if the flavour compound is obtained from different sources and if naming the sources would not describe the odour or flavour correctly, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1334/2008 on food flavourings. One example would be a flavour made from the natural flavours of blackberries, apples and oranges, the odour and flavour of which does not reflect any of the three fruit types.