Where does vanilla flavor come from?

VANILLA is often thought of as the most basic of all ice cream flavors, but many people don’t know the source of this staple.

A rumor that vanilla flavoring comes from beavers has lit up the internet, but rest assured your food isn’t made from beaver slime.

Vanilla is most commonly extracted from vanilla beans


Vanilla is most commonly extracted from vanilla beansCredit: Corbis

Where does vanilla flavor come from?

So where does the vanilla flavor come from?

If you google the question you will see a 2013 National Geographic article Explanation of the origins of castoreum, a natural vanilla flavor.

Coypu is a brown, sticky goo that beavers secrete from glands between the pelvis and the base of the tail.

Beavers use this goo to mark their territory — it happens to smell a lot like vanilla due to their diet of bark and leaves.

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Food chemists can “milk” the substance from sedated beavers and use it as a flavoring or fragrance in luxury foods and perfumes.

While it may not be the most desirable flavor source, it is considered “generally safe for consumption” by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Decades ago, beaver slime was used to flavor artisan ice cream, baked goods, chewing gum, and candy.

However, castoreum is almost never used in food today, except in special (and expensive) circumstances.

Instead, the vanilla flavor comes from the bean pod, which you’ve no doubt seen in stores and on Bake Off.

Most vanilla beans come from the vanilla orchid plant, which is grown in Madagascar, Mexico, and Tahiti.

So don’t be alarmed, this is what is used in vanilla food flavorings.

When did vanilla flavor go viral on TikTok?

TikTok user @Slowmoee has sent the internet wild after starting a viral trend.

In a 15-second video posted to his 6.1 million followers, the TikTok creator asked people to film their reactions before and after Googling “Where does vanilla flavor come from?”.

He then takes a sip of vanilla latte before Googling the question, with a horrified face and screeching, “No more vanilla!”

Slowmoee’s video has been viewed millions of times.

In response to his post, other TikTok users have uploaded videos showing their reaction to finding out the aroma’s apparent origin.

TikTok: A quick guide to the world’s most downloaded app

  • TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with music and camera effects
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  • It is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, which was founded by entrepreneur Zhang Yiming
  • The $200 billion conglomerate acquired the Musical.ly app in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, bringing in millions of new users
  • As of February 2019, TikTok and Douyin have been downloaded more than a billion times
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  • The Department of Defense has urged its employees to avoid using the app over national security concerns
  • TikTok says it does not and would not share user data with the Chinese government

Did I eat beaver goo?

While castoreum can be used as an ingredient in food and drink, it is extremely rare due to the cost and time involved in milking it.

It’s safe to assume that every ice cream or custard latte you’ve consumed has ingredients that weren’t even close to a beaver’s butt.

That’s because the vast majority of food and beverage products use artificial flavors to get that sweet vanilla flavor.

Many also contain vanilla extract, which comes from the orchid pods.

The few products that contain castoreum are generally made by luxury brands—not something you can get at your local supermarket.

For example, Eau de Musc (“Water of Musk”) was a limited-edition beaver castoreum whiskey released in 2018 by US-based liquor maker Tamworth Distilling.

It was housed in a small, vintage-style 200ml perfume bottle and sold for a staggering $65 (£50) each.

Chanel Antaeus is a fragrance by – you guessed it – Chanel that contains castoreum. That’ll set you back a whopping $114 / £78 per bottle.

Is vanilla flavoring the same as vanilla essence?

Although both give you the familiar vanilla flavor, vanilla extract differs from vanilla flavoring.

To create vanilla flavor, a mixture of corn syrup, synthetic vanillin, and lignin is made.

In general, artificial vanilla has a weaker flavor, making it best for baked goods.

The extract can be made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and ethyl alcohol — vodka or bourbon will do at home.

You can use these Make your own vanilla ice cream or add flavor to other foods.

Split vanilla beans are placed in the alcohol and cold or hot extraction methods are used.

Another vanilla product that you can buy is vanilla essence.

This is also used in food and is typically made using water, ethanol, propylene glycol, emulsifiers, and chemically manufactured flavors and colors

https://www.thesun.ie/tech/6157601/vanilla-flavouring-where-come-from/ Where does vanilla flavor come from?

Fry Electronics Team

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