7 Synthetic Flavours Used In Cooking You Thought Were Natural

Flavour is king when it comes to food. It stimulates our taste buds and makes eating more enjoyable. Flavours aren't always natural, though. There's a secret truth behind the allure of some tastes: many of the flavours we find in everyday foods are actually man-made, carefully made in labs to look like their natural versions. Some artificial flavours attempt to taste like real foods, while others make natural flavours stronger. From gourmet delicacies to everyday staples, here are seven flavours you might not realize are synthetic yet surprise you with their widespread usage. 

Truffle Oil 

Truffle oil is used a lot in opulent cooking because people love the strong smell and earthy taste of it. There are, however, many truffle oils on the market that are not made from real truffles. Instead, they are mixed with man-made chemicals that make them smell and taste like truffles. Many recipes, like pasta, risotto, and salads, use this man-made substitute instead of real truffles because it adds a rich truffle flavour without the high cost. 


Vanilla is a popular flavour in cakes, drinks, and baked goods because it is sweet and smells good. Vanilla beans are used to make real vanilla extract, but synthetic vanillia is often used instead because it is cheaper. A lot of processed foods, like ice cream, cookies, and soft drinks, use synthetic vanillin to give them a consistent vanilla flavour without having to buy real vanilla beans. 

Orange Squash 

Orange squash, which is a popular beverage concentrate, provides a reviving rush of citrus flavour. On the other hand, a significant number of orange squash items that are available for purchase contain artificial orange flavouring agents rather than actual orange juice. These artificial flavours are frequently employed to improve the flavour of orange squash beverages, which results in a citrus profile that is both vivid and acidic. 


Cheese is a versatile ingredient that may be employed in a broad variety of culinary applications due to its profound and multifaceted flavour profile. Cheeses that are mass-produced typically contain artificial flavour enhancers, in contrast to artisanal cheeses, which are made using traditional methods and natural ingredients. The flavour profile of processed cheese products, such as cheese slices, spreads, and sauces, is influenced by these synthetic chemicals, which are manufactured to imitate the flavour and scent of cheese. 

Lumpfish Caviar 

One popular alternative to typical caviar is lumpfish caviar, which is highly regarded for its unique texture and salty taste. But to make lumpfish caviar taste more like real caviar, it's common to add synthetic flavourings. As a less expensive substitute for more expensive caviar variations, these artificial flavours are frequently utilised in a wide range of culinary applications, such as canapés, sushi, and hors d'oeuvres. 


Many foods and drinks have strawberry flavour because of the fruit's popular popularity and the pleasant aroma and sweetness it imparts. Synthetic strawberry flavouring agents are commonly employed to give processed items a consistent strawberry taste, even though natural strawberry extract is made from actual strawberries. You won't even need fresh strawberries to enjoy these artificial strawberry flavours—they're in just about everything from cereals and syrups to chocolates and yoghurts. 

Crab Stick

Crab sticks, surimi, or fake crab, are processed fish protein snacks that many people enjoy instead of real seafood. Crab sticks typically use artificial flavourings to mimic the flavour of crab, even though actual crab meat has a subtle and salty flavour. Crab stick goods, such as sushi rolls, salads, and seafood dips, use these artificial flavours to mimic the taste of live crab without breaking the bank.