I am trying to translate the phrase "This is a natural product, separation is normal" for a food label, where "separation" refers to the settling of part of the beverage (like how tea leaves settle to the bottom of the bottle, or how some beverages include the phrase "shake well", because part of it has settled and therefore does not look uniform, or most of the flavor is now at the bottom.) The phrase I am using is

Produit naturel, la décantation est normale.

Based on talking to a few people, but I just wanted to make sure it makes sense, and sounds natural, specifically to a Québécois audience.


I found this image online that shows what I mean by "settling": http://www.foodloversdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/grape-settled.jpgproduct settling observable in grape juice

  • In France, I think "décantation" might not be the best choice. The meaning of the word seems adapted (its exact meaning being the process to separate two phases of a heterogeneous solution, like water and oil). I have never heard the word itself in a food-related context. Actually, I think the only context I heard it in was chemistry. As a consequence, it may be that some people in your target population do not really know what it means. Propositions with "dépôt" might be good alternative for instance.
    – Chop
    Jun 29, 2015 at 8:18
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    @Chop J'aurais dit pareil... à l'exception tout de même du vin, pour lequel on emploie le terme de décantation ou des dérivés (carafe à décanter). Jun 29, 2015 at 9:03
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    @Amphiteóth Judicieuse remarque, mais comme pour décantation, je ne sais pas si précipitation est utilisé dans le langage courant. C'est également un terme chimique à mes yeux. En tout cas, tu illustres ainsi que separation a un spectre potentiellement plus large que la seule décantation.
    – Chop
    Jun 29, 2015 at 9:22
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    @PapaPoule, yes, I am using "bien agiter", just below the line that says that settling is normal. It is in bold, while the settling line is in a normal font-weight. Jun 30, 2015 at 18:24
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    @PapaPoule Haha, that is an awesome suggestion, unfortunately I'm really tight on space as it is, and am looking to keep it as short and concise as possible. Jun 30, 2015 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


The answer of Archa is good, however, I want to add a few elements :

  • rather than doing two sentences, I would make one that explains the link between both : "the separation is normal because this is a natural product.."

  • the word "décantation" does not fit with your explanation, it means that you have clarified the beverage conventionally. I would rather use "dépot" which means that there are some "sediments" in your bottle.

[10th meaning of Wiktionary -] Sédiment qu’un fluide dépose au fond du vase où il a séjourné pendant quelque temps.

  • Il y a un dépôt au fond du vase.
  • Un léger dépôt n’altère en rien la qualité de ce produit., phrase justifiante inscrite sur l’emballage de certains produits de commerce.

The last example in wiktionary perfectly fits what you need :

Un léger dépôt n’altère en rien la qualité de ce produit [naturel].

→The few sediments don't degrade the quality of this [natural] product.

I added natural to match your original sentence.

EDIT : Since you are asking about a short translation and in comment it looks that you are not satisfied, I have to add this part to my original answer.

To fit literally your sentence :

Ce produit est naturel, la séparation est normale.

will sound perfectly correct in French, and will be understood in food context.

Then you can choose to add or remove some words :

  • Ce produit est naturel, la séparation est donc normale.
  • Ce produit étant naturel, la séparation est normale.

or (even if it doesn't sound well because of reasons Archa gave but matches with your translation) :

Produit naturel, la séparation est normale.

or the shortest :

Produit naturel, séparation normale.

  • 3
    Ha, je l'ai recherché un peu hier soir mais je ne le retrouvais pas. +1 pour l'idiome (Un léger dépôt n’altère en rien la qualité de ce produit) Jun 29, 2015 at 8:59
  • hi Yohann, @RomainVALERI, I've added a photo to illustrate what I mean, hopefuly that helps. Also, as I asked below, does it make a difference (to the reader) that it is on a food label? Sort of like how newspaper headlines say things like "4 injured in hospital fire" and it wouldn't sound "wrong"? I want to stay as concise and faithful to the original phrase as possible. Jun 30, 2015 at 16:44
  • @RaphaelRosch Yes, it belongs on a food label indeed. I guess I've nothing to add to Yohann's excellent answer. Jun 30, 2015 at 17:15
  • @Yohann, but doesn't "dépôt" mean "deposit" (or "sediments", as you put it)? Because in my case it won't be sediment that is seen, rather just the separation of the product, as seen in the above photo. I think the technical description is de-emulsification, something like that. I also don't want to subconsciously suggest the deterioration of the quality of the product by using those words. In Spanish for example, I can say "Producto natural, la separacion/el asentamiento es normal" and it makes perfect sense on a food label. Jun 30, 2015 at 18:35
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    @YohannV. awesome thanks! I think I will likely end up using "Ce produit est naturel, la séparation est normale." Since you say that "décantation" means something different to what I want to convey and "séparation" means what I mean (like what is seen in the photo), right? Jul 1, 2015 at 10:33

It doesn't sound natural. You link two different word groups (noun group + sentence) in a same sentence, so you should either transform a phrase or seperate them into two different sentences.

  1. Produit naturel (,/et) décantation normale.
  2. Ce produit est naturel. La décantation est normale.
  • Thanks for the response, does it make a difference (to the reader) that it is on a food label? Sort of like how newspaper headlines say things like "4 injured in hospital fire" and it wouldn't sound "wrong"? Also, would it be correct to state the 2nd option as "C'est un produit naturel. La décantation est normale."? Jun 29, 2015 at 2:40

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