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Fall Flavor Match-Up: Artificial vs. Real Pumpkin

Posted by Maria Shiiba on

The air is becoming crisp, trees are changing colors, and you may be getting your jackets out of storage. You know what that means? Fall is here! And, pumpkin flavored items are filling the shelves of your local grocery stores and becoming available at your favorite restaurants.

But that autumn flavor you’ve come to know and love may not be as authentic as you think. Let’s compare artificial pumpkin flavoring with real pumpkin and see how similar they truly are.

What’s Actually in Your Pumpkin-Flavored Snacks?

Did you know there are over 340 flavor compound characteristics found in the real pumpkin pie flavor, but your brain only requires 5-10% of those to identify the taste? It turns out that many of the pumpkin products you’re consuming actually only have about 17-34 flavor compounds found in a pumpkin pie.

This means your taste buds are constantly tricked into thinking you’re eating real pumpkin, when in reality it’s just a few flavors mixed just the right way. While this isn’t necessarily negative, you miss out on the many benefits of real pumpkin by eating chemical compounds that only mimic the iconic pumpkin flavor.

Want to identify the real flavor from its doppelganger? Here are a few ingredients to look for when reading your labels:

  • Cinnamic Aldehyde: Cinnamon.
  • Eugenol: Allspice or Cloves.
  • Terpenes: Nutmeg.
  • Vanillin: Vanilla.

If you see these items on the nutrition label, you can know for sure that the pumpkin flavor was carved out completely and replaced with artificial ones.

Spooky Ingredients To Avoid

The chemical compounds used in artificial pumpkin flavoring aren’t going to negatively impact your health, but there are a few harmful ingredients found in popular pumpkin products that you should know about.

Dreaming about a pumpkin spice latte? Well, this may have you reaching for a pumpkin spice coffee creamer during your next trip to the store. The only problem is that most creamers use hydrogenated oils, corn syrups, preservatives, and other refined sugars that can harm heart health. These trans fats can increase LDL cholesterol levels, which can put you at risk of heart disease.

You know those cute ready-to-bake pumpkin and ghost cookies? Their ingredient list is much less adorable. On top of the high amounts of refined sugars, they contain food dye. While a little bit of food dye is generally not bad, it has been tied to cases of hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and even cancer.

The Real Deal: Fall in Love With a Better-for-You Treat

We know this season is all about cozy snacks and delicious flavor combinations, and we don’t want you to miss out on these autumnal joys just because of their ingredient lists!

Satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings the right way with our Pumpkin Pie Perfect Bar. Made with real pumpkin, this yummy snack will transport you to all your favorite fall memories — football games, apple picking, and bonfires with friends — without any of the additives that haunt other pumpkin-flavored foods.

These bars pack a punch of delicious benefits:

  • Organic.
  • Non-GMO.
  • Wholefood nutrition.
  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • 14g protein.
  • 20+ superfoods.

Want to stock up on Pumpkin Pie Perfect Bars before the season is in full swing? Find us in your local grocery store or order online right now.