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Flavouring Extracts

Difference Between Artificial and Natural Flavouring Extracts

Adding flavour extracts while brewing your beer can make a difference in the profile of your brew. When it comes to adding flavour to alcoholic beverages, you have a few options to choose from, and these include artificial and natural flavour extracts.

Using these extracts can immensely improve the flavour of your alcoholic beverage. But what is the difference between artificial and natural flavour extracts? First, let us define nature flavour extracts, also called natural extracts. You will find essential oils, protein hydrolysate and other compounds in nature flavour extracts, which are extracted by the process of applying heat such as roasting or distilling. Natural extracts are flavourings produced by nature, such as vegetables, herbs, tree parts, animal products. (continue reading below)
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Artificial flavours, on the other hand, are made from components that are not produced by nature. To create the taste, a chemist uses blends of chemicals to develop the specific flavour that they want to make. Synthetic compounds produced inside the laboratory create an artificial flavour extract that is closely similar to the natural flavour that it tries to mimic.

As a homebrewer, which should you choose? It largely depends on your preference. While artificial flavourings are very cheap and affordable, natural extracts can be more expensive. The price of natural extracts was at one time three to five times higher than artificial flavouring. It was for that reason that most inexperienced brewers tested their abilities and brewing skills first using artificial flavours before they started to purchase natural extracts.