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Flavouring Extracts

Difference Between Artificial and Natural Flavouring Extracts

Adding flavour to your homebrewed beer can make a difference in the profile of your beer. This is the reason why flavourings are also essential ingredients in making alcoholic beverages. 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 flavourings 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, nature flavour extracts are made from essential oils, protein hydrolysate and other compounds that are extracted by the process of applying heat such as roasting or distilling. The natural flavours are obtained from different natural sources such as vegetables, herbs, tree parts, animal products and many others. It is important to take note that natural extracts are made from products produced by nature. (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 flavour, a chemist uses blends of chemicals to create the specific flavour that they want to make. The flavours are made from synthetic compounds produced inside the laboratory to create a flavour that is closely similar to the natural flavours that it tries to mimic.

As a home brewer, which should you choose? It largely depends on your preference. While artificial flavourings are very cheap and affordable, natural extracts are usually more expensive. In fact, the price of natural extracts can be three to five times more expensive than artificial flavouring. It is for that reason that most inexperienced brewers test their abilities and brewing skills first using artificial flavourings, before they start purchasing natural flavourings.