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What does ‘naturally derived’ and ‘nature identical’ mean?

In the UK & Europe and USA (in fact in most of the world) the word 'natural' is not regulated so we see it being used on many different items, meaning many different things, making many different claims.  This can also be said for the terms 'naturally derived' and 'nature identical'.

Naturally derived means an ingredient that has come from nature originally but has been processed to make it into something a little different.  An example of this is a surfactant (lathering agent) is ‘derived’ from coconut oil and sugar.

Nature Identical is a product that has been created in the laboratory to identically match a product found in nature. It is done because  the plants or minerals that the products are found in naturally are in short supply or difficult to grow in large quantities.  A good example of this is salicylic acid.  This was originally discovered in white willow bark and is now created in a laboratory to make, among other things, aspirin. Other examples include micas and some vitamins.

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