Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of alcohol and water. It contains many of the hundreds of subtle flavor compounds present in vanilla beans, compared to artificial vanilla extract which typically contains only synthetic vanillin. There is a wide variety based on vanilla bean origin.

Health considerations

Pure vanilla extract contains a variety of antioxidants, in greater quantities than simply pure vanillin. See: vanilla bean

Keep in mind

Vanilla extract is typically in an alcohol flavor carrier. Individuals who wish to avoid alcohol in any quantity can seek alternatives such as glycerin-based extracts, vanilla paste, and vanilla powder.

May be found in

Baked goods, cakes, cookies, frozend desserts, ice cream, premium commercial vanilla-flavored foods.


Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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