Natural product

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fruit on the Vienna Naschmarkt
Game meat prepared for drying

As a natural product (including natural product ) are raw materials , food , mixtures or materials that largely in the nature or naturally arose in primary production were obtained and used with no or little change to their material properties.


Chopped firewood

The compound “natural product” indicates products that nature itself has created without significant human intervention. They serve as food or luxury food for human consumption or as a commodity . This includes plants , animals and natural substances like water . The earlier subsistence economy resorted to this for the purpose of self-sufficiency . Aristotle already understood natural products to be “animals and their structures, plants and elementary bodies such as earth, fire, air and water”.

Eggs on a food market

An important criterion for natural products is their largely natural consistency. As early as 1871, Georg Lemberger was of the opinion that natural products, such as water, fruits or animals , must still be in their original state , but if they were changed and processed, be it artificial products. Josef Kohler recognized in 1878 that natural products only achieve their economic value when people take control of them. Every activity, even the picking of a forest berry, gives the natural product the quality of a good . By picking as a minor processing, the agricultural product retained its property of being a natural product. The fewer natural products that are processed and the fresher they are, the higher their nutritional content .

Examples of products designated as natural products are foods such as eggs , vegetables , grain , honey , cork , fruit , edible fish and game meat , but also stone , wood and wool .


For John Locke , work began in 1690 where man takes a product from nature in order to make it his property. Property man can only attain by (a natural product English natural product ) edit or mix it with a substance. In 1758, the physiocrat François Quesnay saw natural products as the real source of wealth for the state. According to David Ricardo , the products of nature are also obtained through work. Is the task of working to "prepare for our services," the natural products ( english prepare ).

In the 19th century, German specialist literature dealt intensively with natural products. In 1827 the rule was that some of them could be used raw and without any preparation , some of them had to be changed through appropriate treatment so that they could serve their purpose. The current classification of natural products according to their origin from plants , animals or minerals dates back to 1836. A definition from 1871, which is still valid today, called natural products or natural products “those things or bodies which are still in the same state as God created them or brought forth the earth ”. If these natural products are processed by human art, the author called them "art products" or "art products".

Due to the degree of treatment or processing, natural products lose their property of being natural products. With milk and its derivatives ( butter , cheese ) it can be seen how the natural raw material cannot be separated from its processing and processing by humans and how the natural product becomes food . The degree of processing or processing determines whether it is still a natural product or not.

Legal issues

This view was also adopted by the Product Liability Act (ProdHaftG) , which has been in force since January 1990 . In § 2 sentence 2 ProdHaftG a. F. there was a privilege for agricultural natural products until 2009: Agricultural products of the soil , animal husbandry , beekeeping and fishing as well as hunting products were exempt from product liability . These were not considered products within the meaning of the Product Liability Act as long as they were not subjected to initial processing . It came down to the processing (technical or mechanical forming), i.e. the freezing or preservation , and not the processing. These agricultural products were excluded from product liability. Since 2009, all agricultural products - including those without initial processing - have been subject to product liability. In Article 38 (1) TFEU, EU law assumes that among agricultural products, in addition to products from the soil and from animal husbandry , fisheries and the products of the first processing stage that are directly related to these also belong to the category of agricultural products.

Natural products do not enjoy any special legal protection . Only advertising for natural products is of legal significance . So-called “natural advertising” always occurs when a food or its ingredients are used in terms such as “nature”, “pure natural product”, “natural”, “natural”, “natural”, “naturally mild” or “naturally enjoyable” “Is advertised. Food advertised with reference to nature therefore need neither come from organic production nor from the region . An effervescent colored with additives may not be advertised as a "purely natural product", as effervescent is an artificial product.

Advertising for natural products must comply with the principles of integrity . A misleading advertisement exists if a commercial act according to § 5 Abs. 1 UWG contains untrue information or other information suitable to deceive, such as the essential characteristics of the goods or their quality. The Food and Feed Code (LFGB) prohibits in § 11 LFGB information on food that does not meet the requirements of Art. 7 Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 3 of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 . This includes the properties of the food, in particular with regard to type, identity, composition, quantity, shelf life, country of origin or place of origin and the method of manufacture or production. Statements on pollutant levels and regionality cannot be derived from this.

economic aspects

At a higher processing level , agricultural products lose their character as natural products, because processing leads to a different state of the product, such as the production of condensed milk or milk products ( butter , cheese , etc.) from raw milk . The threshing of the grain is still part of the work preparation process , but the grinding into flour is the first processing stage that changes the condition of the product. The milking of the cows to obtain raw milk is also part of the work preparation process, and the dairy into milk is the first processing stage. The pressing of the grapes is work preparation, the fermentation to wine is the first processing stage. Activities such as cleaning , sorting , storage , drying or packaging are usually not the first processing of the agricultural natural product. When it is first processed must be decided on the basis of the circumstances of the individual case.

According to Art. 38 (1) TFEU , the first processing stage still belongs to agriculture. Cheese or leather, for example, are not natural products in the strict sense, because the natural product raw milk or animal skin is converted and physically changed through significant human processing ( cheese production or tanning ). Butter and cheese are already the second processing stage. Metals or minerals are also not natural products because they are only obtained through technically complex mining and thus lose their original state. In all examples, only the basic materials are natural products, but no longer the finished products . It therefore depends on the degree of processing whether the products are natural or not.


The awareness of a healthy diet and ecology have made natural products the focus of consumer interest and give them priority over man-made substances. Renewable raw materials are considered recent organic natural products that exist for the sake of technical use or economy .


The term natural substance , which usually refers to a pure substance or a chemically defined mixture, must be distinguished from natural products .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Aristotle, Politics , Book II, 192 b10
  2. Georg Lemberger, Natural History and Theory of Nature, for the higher grades of the German weekday school , 1871, p. 3
  3. Josef Kohler, German Patent Law , 1878, p. 4
  4. Dagmar Hauner / Hans Hauner, Obesity - finally losing weight healthily , 2006, p. 76
  5. Ulla Brauer: Honey: production, types, labeling. Norddeutscher Rundfunk, December 12, 2016, accessed on December 10, 2017 .
  6. Peter Steinhauer: Cork - the completely underestimated building material., January 4, 2017, accessed December 10, 2017 .
  7. Renate Ahrens: Wet start to the carp season., September 18, 2017, accessed December 10, 2017 .
  8. Game meat from Saxony - In: Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020 ; accessed on January 4, 2020 .
  9. Steffen Müller: The fate of the gravestones., August 25, 2016, accessed December 10, 2017 .
  10. Wood - a natural product with growing potential., accessed on December 10, 2017 .
  11. Full utilization at Schoeller Spinning Group. ORF, November 15, 2017, accessed on December 10, 2017 .
  12. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding , 1690, pp. 114 ff.
  13. Jörg Thomas Peters, The concept of work in John Locke , Volume 3, 1997, p. 168
  14. Ludwig Stein, The social question in the light of philosophy , 1903, p. 242
  15. ^ David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation , 1817/1975, p. 85
  16. ^ David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation , 1817/1975, p. 85
  17. Amberger Wochenblatt (ed.), 1827, p. 10
  18. ^ G Apel, Guide to Teaching in Natural History , 1836, p. 36
  19. Georg Lemberger, Natural History and Theory of Nature , 1871, p. 3
  20. ^ Vienna contributions to social hygiene (ed.), Grundriss der Sozialhygiene , 1957, p. 124
  21. German Agricultural Society (Ed.), DLG-Mitteilungen , Volume 106, 1991, p. 48
  22. Stefanie Hartwig, Werbung für Lebensmittel , 2013, p. 159
  23. Walter Zipfel / Kurt-Dietrich Rathke, Lebensmittelrecht , 2001, § 17, Rn. 7th
  24. Markus Grube: Claim "Nature, of course". (PDF) Arbeitsgemeinschaft Getreideforschung eV, accessed on December 10, 2017 .
  25. BT-Drs. 11/2447 of June 9, 1988, draft law on liability for defective products (Product Liability Act - ProdHaftG) , p. 12
  26. BT-Drs. 11/2447 of June 9, 1988, draft of a law on liability for defective products (Product Liability Act - ProdHaftG) , p. 12
  27. ^ Andreas Leitolf, Series European Economy , Volume 58, 1957, p. 46
  28. Günter Altner / Heike Leitschuh / Gerd Michelsen / Udo E. Simonis / Ernst U. von Weizsäcker (eds.), Ecology Yearbook: 2008 , 2007, p. 102