Dr Oz: What’s Really In A Pumpkin Spice Latte?
In 2003, Starbucks introduced a flavor to welcome the fall: pumpkin spice. Since its debut, more than 200 million “PSL” have been sold. That drink launched hundreds of pumpkin spice flavored items all over the world. There’s now pumpkin spice yogurt, chips, cereal, hummus, and even fries! Pumpkin spice products accounted for $361 million in sales just in the year 2015, which means a growth of 79% since 2001. So what’s really behind the spice craze?
Dr Oz: Pumpkin Spice Investigation
Investigative reporter Michael Moss has dedicated his carer to finding out more about the pumpkin spice craze. Michael began by saying that coffee was the perfect place for the phenomenon to get started. The pumpkin spice latte is rich, creamy, and sweet, similar to pie. Now, pumpkin spice flavor hits what he called “huge emotional buttons.” Plus, it feels special because it’s only offered for a limited time, which is really attractive to millennials. It even makes unhealthy foods or drinks seem a little healthier.
One of the biggest secrets about products labeled “pumpkin spice” is that there really isn’t that much pumpkin. Instead, it’s most-likely referring to the spice. Additionally, some food products only contain synthetic chemicals made in a lab, not real spices!
Dr Oz: What’s In Pumpkin Spice?
Pumpkin spice is a combination of the following ingredients:
However, those four ingredients aren’t even in thousands of the pumpkin spice products being marketed. Instead, you could be getting as many as 80 additives. Some of those synthetic flavors are there because they are trying to mimic or pretend to be a real pie. Plus, in some cases, those synthetic chemicals and additives can make the product taste even better than the real thing grown on the farm.
Dr Oz: Additives & Chemicals In Pumpkin Spice Products
When Michael Moss visited a lab for the New York Times to find out more about how pumpkin spice products are made, he learned that a flavorist in the lab mixes oils from real spices or their synthetic equivalents with as many as 80 other additives to make pumpkin flavorings. The properties of those chemicals mimic the taste and sensation of pumpkin pie.
Lactones give a creamy sensation, ketones create buttery notes, cyclotenes mimic the toasted maple-like notes of the pie crust, vanillin is the “soul of vanilla”, and finally pyrazines are added to mimic the intense top baked layer of the pie.
Pumpkin spice flavoring can distract us from the fact that the product we’re eating isn’t actually that healthy. Try looking at the ingredient list to see exactly what you’re eating. Look for pure spices and real pumpkin.