Where does the vanilla flavour come from?

In this brief article, we will address the issue of “Where does the vanilla flavour come from?” and will demonstrate the vanilla goods on the market.

Where does the vanilla flavour come from?

True vanilla is found in the seeds of a certain orchid in the genus Vanilla. Only two vanilla orchid species—Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis—produce the seed pods necessary to synthesise vanilla extract, despite the fact that there are over a hundred different variants of the plant.

The popular term for the seed of this orchid, also known as the pod, is the vanilla bean. However, the plant isn’t really a bean because it doesn’t belong to the family of legumes. Vanilla pods are fully mature only eight to nine months after blossoms are pollinated.

When the pods still have a yellow-green tip, they are harvested. In contrast to the blossoms, which are fragrant even before pods are formed, the pods do not yet have a distinct scent of their own.

The vanilla pods are then cured by drying them in the sun, soaking them in hot water, or allowing them to sweat for a number of weeks. During this time, the pods oxidise and go from green to brown.

They also become smaller and develop the classic vanilla flavour and perfume thanks to a compound called vanillin. To manufacture vanilla extract, these pods can be soaked in alcohol to extract their flavours.

The imitation vanilla flavour is a less expensive variation of this flavour. The molecule known as vanillin, which gives vanilla its characteristic flavour, is more affordable. The source of this is not the vanilla plant.

Imitation vanilla is what it is called, and it is used as a flavouring in cakes, sweets, cereal, and more, as well as a scent in things like fragrances, candles, and potpourri.

The fakest vanilla is generated by extracting vanillin from materials like cloves, castoreum (beaver excrement), and wood pulp, or it is made as a waste product from the production of rice bran oil.

Why is vanilla so expensive?

Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice in the world, to begin with. The first of these is saffron. Most vanilla is used in food preparation, although some are also used in the fragrance sector.

It’s true that this shipment, which is meant for perfumeries, has the strongest aroma and is normally very pricey, costing about $6,000 per kg. But why is vanilla so expensive?

Species of orchid

A plant from the orchid family is used to make vanilla. And if you even know a little about plants, you should be aware that this particular kind of orchid is more expensive than others and that the orchid is not at all a cheap plant.

Vanilla is also not easily accessible. This is accurate in certain places, but access issues, for example, make the spice more expensive even before it is planted.

Problems with cultivation

One of the reasons vanilla is so expensive as a spice is that it is difficult to grow.

The soil must be highly rich for the orchid to grow healthily enough to produce the vanilla bean, which calls for a lengthy fertilisation process before planting in addition to ongoing care during culture.

Additionally, because the Vanilla orchid is a climbing plant, vast space is needed to simultaneously plant all of the seedlings. Putting the light out! Orchids can’t be planted practically anywhere because they need moderate light.

For the plant to be able to do this, the least amount of light is needed. As a result, they require some shade from trees or another man-made mechanism so that they are not entirely exposed to the sun and are also not continually in the shade. 

Process of photosynthesis

All of these processes, in addition to the labour-intensive harvesting and selection processes, raise the price of the vanilla bean.

What goods are offered in vanilla?

The vanilla bean

The developed and ready-to-use pod is much more expensive and often easier to locate based on the city in which important markets are located. In emporiums or speciality shops, it is increasingly common.

It is made of vanilla paste and a viscous foundation (sugar syrup and thickeners). In addition to entire processed beans, powdered used beans, and/or leftover whole beans from extract extraction, vanilla is also incorporated.

The visual element of ground fava beans is more significant than the flavour and aroma. The senses of fragrance and taste are less common and more intense.

Vanilla essence

It is a combination of at least 35% alcohol and 380 grammes of dry, maximum 25% moisture-containing vanilla beans, or at least 70% alcohol and at least 12% fava beans. The volume of a gallon is 3.785 litres.

Vanilla bean flour:

It is not a dry powder because there is still some moisture present. The bean is used in some versions, though. The market has become easier to find vanilla beans in recent years.

Sadly, the extract continues to have an issue. Versions that can be purchased in the country are quite expensive for the quantity supplied. the same as the folder


In this brief article, we have addressed the issue “Where does the vanilla flavour come from?” and have also demonstrated the vanilla goods on the market.



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