Food Scientist for Hire

Flavored Water Formulation and Development


The flavored water market has been making significant waves in the beverage industry in recent years. This refreshing trend has captured the attention of health-conscious consumers, who are increasingly seeking alternatives to sugary beverages. Flavored water offers a fusion of hydration and taste, making it a top choice for those looking to quench their thirst while enjoying a burst of flavor. The market has witnessed remarkable growth and its future appears promising.


One of the primary driving factors behind the increasing number of flavored water manufacturers in  flavored water market is the growing awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Consumers are shifting away from sugary sodas and artificial drinks.

Mineral water, often infused with natural fruit flavors or extracts, provide a guilt-free alternative. But what are flavorings and how do we have to label them?

The FDA defines “natural flavors” as chemical flavor compounds extracted directly from plants, animals or plant and animal products as found in nature. Artificial flavors (or ‘nature-identical’) are those not extracted from nature but rather re-produced in a lab or production facility. They are not derived from a spice, fruit (juice), vegetable (juice), edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof and can be any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor.

Natural flavorings in flavored water beverage the US must be GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) listed and fall into three basic categories:

  1. FTNF: From the named fruit or food, and as the name suggests, they must be composed exclusively of extracts, distillates, etc., from the named source. These are labelled for example, ‘natural raspberry flavor’.
  2. WONF: (with other natural flavourings). These are composed of flavorings from the named source but also contain other natural flavorings. There is no defined minimum for the characterizing flavor and opinions vary on what is an acceptable level, but the flavors used in conjunction with the characterising flavor should simulate, resemble or reinforce this characterising flavor. They are labelled, ‘natural raspberry flavor with other natural flavors’.
  3. Natural flavor: These flavors do not contain any material from the named source but are still composed of natural flavors and flavoring ingredients. These would be labelled; ‘natural raspberry type flavor’ or ‘natural flavor’. 

If there is no named food in the finished product, for example, no raspberry in a raspberry ice cream and it contains a natural raspberry flavor (FTNF), it would be labelled ‘natural raspberry flavored ice cream’.

From a cost perspective, artificial flavors are most economical and FTNF flavors are usually more expensive. Artificial flavors also tend to be more stable from a chemical point of view. Sometimes you can see that natural flavors are more volatile and the strength is decreased after pasteurisation. Checking the flash point in the specification of the natural flavor usually helps in predicting how heat stable the flavor is. This is the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapor.  


We at Food Scientist For Hire, will check all the above aspects and even more to develop tasty and shelf-stable flavored water products for you that can last for at least six months. We are specialized in checking the Regulatory side of things no matter where you are in the world, so you do not have to worry about any of this. Just send us an email and we can talk you through!