The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint about the “About Us” section of its website for Appy Food & Drinks, which contained a claim that all of the advertiser’s juice drinks were “100% natural” despite containing calcium lactate and glucose-fructose syrup. Appy Foods asserted that calcium lactate is a salt obtained through a natural fermentation process and occurs naturally in dairy products, and glucose-fructose syrup is obtained through hydrolysis of cornstarch, also a natural process.

The watchdog agency reviewed Appy’s production processes and found that Appy did not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the calcium lactate production process was “natural,” and further that the glucose-fructose syrup was produced by the addition of an enzyme isomerase to the cornstarch, a “non-traditional” treatment falling outside the definition of “natural” in the Food Standards Agency guidelines.

Because the Appy juice drinks were not “single foods,” the ASA decided that the term “natural” could not be used to describe them without qualification and that the two ingredients fell outside the permitted processes for “natural” foods as applied to individual ingredients for compound foods. Accordingly, the agency ruled that the claim was “unsubstantiated and therefore misleading,” in breach of CAP Code.