12 Natural Alternatives to Artificial Flavors

Looking for a natural way to add flavor? Our Compounded Naturals line of flavorings is a great choice for those who prefer using natural over artificial.

When most people think of LorAnn, they most likely think of our 1-dram Super Strength flavors, our bakery emulsions or our outstanding vanilla extracts. However, did you know LorAnn Oils was started not by a candy maker or baker, but by a pharmacist?


At his pharmacy in Okemos, Michigan, LorAnn founder and pharmacist Orin Grettenberger used essential oils and flavors to make bad tasting medications taste better. Over 50 years later, our flavors are still sought out by pharmacies and hospitals for scenting anesthesia masks and compounding (making) medications.

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Our Compounded Naturals line of flavors hearken back to those early days of blending and creating.   These concentrated flavors are formulated using a blend of natural flavor constituents that are suspended in a base of vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol, and offer an excellent natural alternative to products made with artificial flavors.

LorAnn’s Compounded Naturals are available in 12 gluten-free, nut-free, low-carb flavors:

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What is propylene glycol and why is it used in our flavors?

From time to time, we are asked why we use propylene glycol in our flavors. This often-misunderstood ingredient is commonly used in food, medications and cosmetics as a moisturizer. It is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in food by the FDA. However, many people confuse propylene glycol with ethylene glycol, an ingredient found in anti-freeze which is toxic to humans. Propylene glycol is added to our Compounded Naturals to keep all those amazing flavor molecules in suspension, so each time you use the product in your favorite recipes, you end up with a consistent, tasty result.   

What is vegetable glycerin?

Vegetable glycerin is a plant-derived base that helps solubilize flavor ingredients so they can easily be added to food. The humectant properties of vegetable glycerin will cause stickiness in hard candies, but makes it ideal for creating a creamy, smooth consistency in fudge and flavored fondants. Vegetable glycerin also prevent sugar crystallization, keeping your fudges from becoming grainy.

Special Diets Welcome!

Our Compounded Naturals satisfy the need for natural flavors, but they are also free from artificial colors. For those with special dietary restrictions, these flavors are unsweetened, low-carb, gluten-free, and nut-free.

Recipe Inspiration

As we mentioned, our Compounded Naturals are excellent for adding flavor to fudges and fondant, but they are also delicious in baked goods, frosting, ice cream, smoothies, and cocktail syrups and sparkling water. Check out our suggested usage table.

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Pomegranate Citrus Fudge

Print Recipe PDF


7 ounces marshmallow cream (one small jar)
8 ounces chopped white chocolate
1 ½ teaspoons LorAnn’s Compounded Natural Pomegranate flavor
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp cinnamon
Zest from 1 orange
Pink and violet gel color


1. Line a loaf pan (about 9″ X 5″) or small square pan with parchment paper, allowing paper to hang halfway over the sides of the pan.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, add the marshmallow cream, chopped white chocolate, orange zest, cinnamon, and flavor. Mix together until just combined and set aside.

3. In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the granulated sugar, and whipping cream until combined. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil WITHOUT STIRRING. As soon as mixture comes to a boil, wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pan. Clip on a candy thermometer and continue to cook, WITHOUT STIRRING, to 240° F. Remove from heat and allow to cool until no longer boiling.

4. Pour the hot mixture into the bowl that contains the marshmallow cream mixture and stir until well combined.

5. Remove ½ cup of the candy mixture and color with gel coloring.

6. Using a spatula, transfer the rest of the candy to the lined pan and spread to smooth.

7. Drizzle the colored candy mix on top and use knife to create swirls.

8. Once firm, cut fudge into slabs or pieces.

9. To store, wrap fudge in waxed paper and place in an airtight container; refrigerate up to 3 weeks. To freeze, wrap fudge in waxed paper, then foil and place in an airtight container. Can be frozen for several months.

Makes about 2 pounds of fudge

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