The answer lies in the source.
E-liquid is such a wonderful and versatile medium that there are now hundreds of flavours in production, and if you can think of a flavour – there will be an e-liquid somewhere that has it.
Now there are some juices out there that are ‘nature identical’, some are even with ‘natural’ flavourings, but are these natural ones any better? Better than the ‘nature identical’ ones? Is there a difference? After all we are told that ‘organic’ is better for you, nothing with salt, preservatives etc is good –food packaging screams at you ‘ no artificial flavours or preservatives!’, but what about the e-liquid? Should we all be going ‘natural’ and ‘nature identical’?
To be called ‘natural’ –the flavour has to be taken in some way from the plant/fruit/vegetable/animal/mineral – whichever flavour it is that you want- it has to come from the source, (the methods of extraction are too many to list here). For an example , let’s take some bacon –You have to take the flavour from a piece of raw/cooked bacon – and use that ‘essence’ of bacon to flavour the e-liquid with, to be able to call it ‘natural bacon flavour e-liquid’. However, this can be costly, time consuming and unpleasant for the poor pig.
If you are a chemist though, or an e-liquid manufacturer – how about you go to the big chemist’s recipe book –check out ‘bacon flavour’ – see what chemicals are needed –and you whizz it up in a test tube? Nature has provided the recipe – that some other chemist sussed out when he was extracting his bacon flavour from his raw/cooked slice, he wrote down what it was made up from (the chemical composition) and sold it to you – you can now cook up his recipe from the myriad bottles of chemical you have in your lab, add to e-liquid, and Bob’s your uncle – ‘nature identical’ bacon flavoured e-liquid.
Reading into the subject it seems that as long as the supplier of e-liquid is reputable, and they know their chemistry, then it doesn’t really make much difference. It will be your taste preferences that will dictate to you which e-liquid you buy, as the chemicals used by Mother Nature are the ones the guys in the flavour labs use as well.
So as you can see, ‘natural’ and ‘nature identical’- same chemical recipe, different sources.