Hey guys...Looking to add some flavoring oils to some recipes and wonder what the general take is on them. Im not 100% Paleo but just wanted to make sure this werent THAT bad.
Kosher Certified. Gluten Free & Sugar Free Contains: Artificial Flavor, Propylene Glycol. Soluble in water.
Here is a link.
Okay, my question is... what are you wanting to use these for? Highly concentrated flavorings like this are usually used in making large batches of carb foods, like candy, cakes, muffins.
Which you totally aren't making if you're here. ;)
If you want to give a little citrus flavor to a chicken thigh, or a bit of spice to a salad dressing, these are going to be HORRIBLE because they're WAY too intense for such a small application.
And -- as someone mentioned before -- citrus zest, spices, herbs, etc. are all generally cheaper, easier to find, easier to use in appropriate moderation, and are okay on most any variation of Primal/Paleo diet.
(And yeah, everybody's up in arms about PG, but the extract is probably only using PG as an emulsifier to get the flavor oil mixed into an alcohol-and-water base. And when you consider that these extracts are used by the drop or quarter-teaspoon in multi-serving recipes, you're talking about extremely small amounts in a serving of food. Yes, of course, the purists will avoid any amount at all costs, and hey, great for them... but nobody's drinking cupfuls of the stuff. I have an extract I use about three drops of, about once a month, and that's in a six-serving recipe. I have a hard time freaking out about that low a dose, especially when I'm still working on avoiding much bigger monsters in my diet. YMMV.)
But yeah, if you really need to use extracts, and want to avoid the PG, get the pure flavor oils and either mix them with oils and fats directly, or choose your own emulsifier (egg yolk, gums, etc.) as you cook with it.
propylene glycol? toss it.
A cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In the skin and hair, propylene glycol works as a humescent, which causes retention of moisture content of skin or cosmetic products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. The Material Safety Data Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
The products seem to avoid the major Paleo issues (being advertised as free of gluten, sugar and vegetable oil). However, some of the flavouring oils contain artificial food dyes of questionable safety, like Red 40 (banned in many EU countries, but still available in the US). I would also be wary of the term "artifical flavouring", which can include a huge laundry list of dubious chemicals, and in this case almost certainly contains an artifical sweetner of questionable safety like aspartame (whose sweet taste can still trigger an insulin response in some people). Finally, even if these flavouring oils are perfectly innocuous, regular use will likely prevent your palate from becoming accustomed to fresh, natural foods, and will help perpetuate any addicition to artifical flavours/sweetness.
Edit: If you're looking to buy protein powder, try choosing one that sweetened with stevia (the natural sweetener which some Paleos use). e.g.
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