When it comes to aquatic products on the market, there are a lot of different terms being thrown around.
But what is it that makes a product edible or flavour enhancing?
The answer may lie in the botanical extracts that are used in the plant.
The terms ‘flavor enhancer’ and ‘flavoured water’ are often used interchangeably and it’s important to differentiate between them.
Aquaculture has a long history of using natural flavouring extracts, with some of the earliest known examples dating back to the ancient Egyptians.
In recent years, there have been more recent additions to the list of ingredients, but there’s still plenty of overlap between the two.
Flavour enhancer products are the most popular in terms of consumer demand, and it has led some to believe that they are a product of a ‘flourishing’ period in the oceans.
While there are plenty of flavour enhancers that are made with real ingredients and are suitable for human consumption, they are not always safe or effective in the wild.
When it comes down to it, flavour enhancer extracts are often more expensive and contain more chemicals.
But are they safe?
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has released a statement in which it says that while some extracts have been proven safe in the lab, there’s a lot more to the story than meets the eye.
According to the FSA, there is a lack of evidence that a flavoured water is safe for use in the food chain, while a flavouring agent can pose a risk of adverse reactions to human health.
It’s important that we understand the full range of extracts, and where they fall within the flavouring and flavour chemistry.
The agency said it is also not able to answer all the questions raised by consumers regarding the safety of flavour agents, such as their ability to penetrate and kill pathogens.
Read more about flavouring water and flavour enhancing products.