Vanilla Powder (organic) - A Nice Spice
Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), also known as flat-leafed vanilla, Bourbon vanilla or Madagascar vanilla, is the only edible fruit of the orchid family, one of the largest families of flowering plants in the world. The word vanilla, translated as "little pod" in Spanish, is derived from vainilla, which comes from the Spanish word vaina, meaning a sheath or pod.
Vanilla pods undergo a multi-step, labor and time-intensive process to produce vanilla extract, powder and essential oil, and is considered the second most expensive spice after saffron.1 It has been enjoyed since early civilization in Mexico, where the Aztecs developed a fermentation process to bring out the flavor of the harvested orchid pods, and served flavored cocoa drinks with a dash of vanilla to royalty. Regarded as the world's most popular aroma and flavor, vanilla is used in foods, beverages, cosmetics, perfumes, and personal hygiene, aromatherapy and cleaning products.
Read on to learn more about this flavorful, fragrant orchid pod...
Vanilla planifolia is the predominant vanilla plant of the three major species of vanilla grown around the world. Native to Mexico, this perennial climbing vine grows best in the moist, tropical regions of the world. It grows up to 300 feet long and bears delicate, pale greenish-yellow flowers about 2 inches in diameter. The natural pollinators of these delicate flowers are hummingbirds and Melipona bees - stingless bees native to the Americas. The flower's structure makes pollination difficult, and the flower only blooms for a day then falls off the following day if not pollinated. So vanilla growers have to hand pollinate the flowers to ensure that pollination occurs during the limited time the flowers are in bloom.
Pollinated flowers then develop into 6 to 9 inch-long pods, which then take five months to mature, ready to be harvested and cured.2 Once harvested, vanilla pods are fermented for 2-6 months, then aged to bring out their full flavor and aroma.
Nutrients and Benefits
Vanilla provides more than just flavor and aroma. Mostly composed of simple and complex sugars and essential oils, its major active constituents include:
- Vanillic acid
- 4-hydroxybenzoic acid
It also contains: eugenol, caproic acid, phenols, phenol ether, alcohols, carbonyl compounds, acids, ester, lactones, aliphatic and aromatic carbohydrates, vitispiranes, and small amounts of B-complex vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron and zinc.
NP Nutra® offers a premium quality Vanilla Powder (organic). This white to yellow, mostly soluble powder is certified Organic, Kosher and Food grade. It can be used in a variety of applications including food and beverages, cosmetics, perfumes, and personal hygiene, aromatherapy and cleaning products.
Contact us for a free sample and further product information.