Do USANA products contain artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavorings?
All food – whether picked from the garden or found on a supermarket shelf – is made up of chemicals. For example, the vitamin C (ascorbic acid, C6H8O6) found in an orange is identical to that produced in a laboratory. Indeed, all compounds in the world consist of the chemical building blocks of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements. These elements are combined in various ways to produce the starches, proteins, fats, water, and vitamins found in food.
Some ingredients are easily derived from natural sources; soybeans and corn, for example, provide lecithin to maintain product consistency, and beets provide a powder that can be used as food coloring.
Other ingredients cannot be easily or safely derived from natural sources and must be produced using other means. Certain vitamins and ingredients can be produced artificially with greater purity and more consistent quality than some of their natural counterparts.
USANA products do not contain artificial colors or sweeteners. However, the Wild Strawberry Nutrimeal contains some flavoring ingredients that must be labeled as “artificial.” These flavorings are used to support the natural flavors in providing a stable and consistent flavor profile.
Food colorings, flavorings, and other additives are strictly regulated by the FDA. As such, these additives must have thoroughly researched safety profiles before they are allowed in food and food products. In addition, ongoing safety is monitored through the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS). This system monitors and investigates all complaints believed to be related to specific foods, food and color additives, or vitamin and mineral supplements. This computerized database helps scientists decide whether reported adverse reactions represent a larger public health hazard.
The bottom line is this: simply labeling a flavoring as natural or artificial does not make it good or bad, right or wrong, safe or dangerous. All other factors being equal, USANA will select naturally derived materials over synthetically derived ones. But oftentimes, all other factors are not equal. USANA scientists use ingredients in the chemical form – be it “natural” or “artificial” – with the highest marks for quality, stability, absorption, proven safety, and other strict criteria.
We realize that some people have a philosophical aversion to synthetically derived nutrients, and we respect this. We are comfortable with our approach to ingredient selection and stand by it, understanding that we are not going to please everybody.