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Beebs

Imitation vs Natural Vanilla Extract

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7 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I suspect he might be referring to this one of the Neilsen-Massey products - sugar, vanilla bean extractives and silicone dioxide anti caking agent. It has little vanilla bits in it - so it think extractives means what's left over after extraction ground up and added to sugar. I think therefore that it would be ground up vanilla beans - albeit used up ones.

 

 

Thanks, I meant this http://www.nielsenmassey.com/culinary/products-madagascar-bourbon-pure-vanilla-powder.php

No Sugar

Ingredients: Maltodextrin (a modified corn starch), Vanilla extracts.

They do an extract, probably using alcohol.

Then the Maltodextrin and a spray technology is used to make a powder.

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3 minutes ago, Paul Fink said:

 

Thanks, I meant this http://www.nielsenmassey.com/culinary/products-madagascar-bourbon-pure-vanilla-powder.php

No Sugar

Ingredients: Maltodextrin (a modified corn starch), Vanilla extracts.

They do an extract, probably using alcohol.

Then the Maltodextrin and a spray technology is used to make a powder.

It says alcohol free - so the extraction must be some other way. 

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1 minute ago, Kerry Beal said:

It says alcohol free - so the extraction must be some other way. 

I assumed the alcohol evaporated.

Sorry, Its been a few years since I researched this. 

 

WAIT: this is what I've been talkin about

http://sapphireflavors.com/vanilla-spray-dried-powder/

 

Quote

Using vanilla spray dried powder can help to increase the shelf life of the oils within the powder as the process used to trap the oils reduces the process of oxidation. Vanilla spray dried powder is an excellent substitute for liquid extract in baking because it is more heat resistant. This way, more of the flavor will end up in the baked good rather than burnt off during the baking process.

 

I may be old, on disability, have a mush brain but every now and then I get it right.

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On 3/30/2017 at 7:29 PM, Paul Fink said:

 

Thanks, I meant this http://www.nielsenmassey.com/culinary/products-madagascar-bourbon-pure-vanilla-powder.php

No Sugar

Ingredients: Maltodextrin (a modified corn starch), Vanilla extracts.

They do an extract, probably using alcohol.

Then the Maltodextrin and a spray technology is used to make a powder.

 

Maltodextrin is technically sugar. It just isn't sweet. But it breaks down in your body to glucose so quickly that it has roughly the same glycemic index as glucose. 

Maltodextrins are sometimes used as bulking agents, because they have a neutral flavor and aren't hygroscopic. More interestingly, some forms of them are used to solidify fats. If you've ever wondered how they got vegetable oil into powdered cake mix, the answer is tapioca maltodextrin. A version marketed for this purpose is called N-Zorbit.

It's possible that the maltodextrin just acts as a bulking agent in the vanilla powder; it's also possible that the extract itself was oil-based, and the maltodextrin was used to solidify it.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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I just got a jar of powdered vanilla from Spice Jungle.

The vanilla comes from Beanilla

I don't remember where I used to source the powder. That was years ago.

Anyway this bottle has Silicon Dioxide.

From Google:

Quote

First, as a food additive, silicon dioxide serves as an anticaking agent. It is used to prevent clumping. In supplements, it's used to prevent the various powdered ingredients from sticking together.Mar 25, 2015

 

So I guess there is more than one way to skin a vanilla bean.

 

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3 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

silicon dioxide is also the main ingredient in beaches and sand castles (!)

Yes, and its also 100% natural :)

I'm still suggested powdered vanilla as natural alternative to imitation vanilla in baking.

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A lot of pro bakers use emulsions instead of extracts,  some are flavoured naturally ,some artificial some a mix of both, but they stand up better than both natural and artificial extracts in my experience .  Eating that is, my wife is the  baker(serious amateur/hobbyist), but since she switched to using emulsions the difference is notable.  I think she must have a dozen different flavours by now. 


Edited by Ashen (log)
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Quote

Using vanilla spray dried powder can help to increase the shelf life of the oils within the powder as the process used to trap the oils reduces the process of oxidation. Vanilla spray dried powder is an excellent substitute for liquid extract in baking because it is more heat resistant. This way, more of the flavor will end up in the baked good rather than burnt off during the baking process.

With respect, that's marketing copy. Freelancers like me write that kind of stuff for hours on end.

 

Favorable reviews from people like yourself and the others here, in actual field use, hold more weight with me. 


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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25 minutes ago, chromedome said:

With respect, that's marketing copy. Freelancers like me write that kind of stuff for hours on end.

 

Yes, I didn't mean to represent it as anything else. And yes the proof is in the baking.

I just wanted to broaden the discussion of vanilla extracts.

Using natural flavors is important to me and vanilla powder is a natural alternative.

The truth is we thought it was a far superior product to the typical store bought vanilla extract.

Much more complex  flavors.


Edited by Paul Fink (log)

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The question is if there's really a way to keep volatile aroma compounds from behaving like volatile aroma compounds. It's their stock in trade to evaporate quickly. This is not only why they disappear in the oven, but why they have such intensity of flavor and aroma in the first place. 

 

If there IS a way to contain the aromatics—say, by extracting them into oil instead of alcohol, and solidifying the oil, is there any way this won't mute the flavor release? And what's worse ... having most of the aroma compounds vanish, or having them remain, but sequestered and muted? 

 

As Chromedome suggests, we'd have to test it. And for something that's likely to be this subtle, I'd be skeptical of anything short of a blind triangle test with at least a few tasters.

 

You'd need to start on an even field—a good quality extract vs. a good quality powder. And you'd need to account for the biggest variable, which is concentration. There's no way to know what counts as an equivalent quantity of each, so ideally you'd make a few samples with each kind of vanilla, ranging from too little to too much.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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So while I was at the PMCA I chatted with a couple of the fellows from the flavour houses that make spray dried vanilla. Spray drying involves high temperatures and likely a lot of volatiles are lost to the process. I guess what is left over is the heat stable part.

 

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Well Kerry Beal and I were out today we noticed this

 

image.jpeg.211e685c16e3f6405a6ee96f9949479f.jpeg

It was $9.99  for this very small jar. We did not buy it and I regret we did not get a photograph of the brand-name.  

 

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

Well Kerry Beal and I were out today we noticed this

 

image.jpeg.211e685c16e3f6405a6ee96f9949479f.jpeg

It was $9.99  for this very small jar. We did not buy it and I regret we did not get a photograph of the brand-name.  

 

 

The brand is Bakto Flavors.  They are in New Jersey.

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I must say that I only bake with almond extract, and am embarrassed to admit I prefer the artificial to the more expensive real one. I can't offer a scientific explanation, but I just go for taste. I'm a huge fan of natural processes and ingredients, and still, I come to this conclusion. Unlike real vanilla extract, vs. vanillin, the artificial almond also smells better in the bottle. I only have a bottle of real almond extract at this point, and it makes me kind of sad. I won't be buying real almond extract again, and hopefully I won't get cancer or something for preferring taste over purity.

 

I think this thread has also brought me around to buying artificial vanilla for baking too. I was so serious about buying the expensive stuff and then couldn't taste it in the baked product. I quit even adding it because of this. I think this is one tiny area where we can embrace food chemistry as an advance, and I NEVER say this.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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On 3/29/2017 at 7:43 PM, chromedome said:

I didn't believe it either when I first read it, several years ago, but tried the experiment myself and was surprised to find it accurate. That being said, there's some pretty nasty artificial vanilla out there. 

Given ALL of the caveats of personal preferences for "real" vs "artificial" vs "powder," there remains a VERY important question that hasn't been addressed:

 

IF we choose to try/use Imitation Vanilla Extract (the liquid stuff), what specific brands are worth trying?  CI tested "Gold Medal" brand which seemed to fare pretty well.  But as chromedome wrote, there are some pretty nasty ones out there, too.  So, what Imitation Vanilla have you used with success or would you try (and which ones would you avoid)?

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1 hour ago, docjavadude said:

Given ALL of the caveats of personal preferences for "real" vs "artificial" vs "powder," there remains a VERY important question that hasn't been addressed:

 

IF we choose to try/use Imitation Vanilla Extract (the liquid stuff), what specific brands are worth trying?  CI tested "Gold Medal" brand which seemed to fare pretty well.  But as chromedome wrote, there are some pretty nasty ones out there, too.  So, what Imitation Vanilla have you used with success or would you try (and which ones would you avoid)?

This is exactly what I was going to ask.  I bake a LOT - cookies, cakes, etc.  I've only ever bought fake vanilla to make white frosting - McCormick or Sauers.  I wasn't crazy about the flavor.  But, of course, it wasn't cooked.  What brand should I look for?

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The Gold Medal comes with a very good endorsement. So far I've never seen it sold in a single bottle. Amazon sells it by the case. Since I don't bake professionally, I have no need to buy a case. But if I ever see a single bottle of it, I will definitely try the Gold Medal. It doesn't seem that any other brand of imitation vanilla has come close. 

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I'm interested in trying Gold Medal brand, but haven't seen it locally and, like cakewalk, don't really want to purchase a case from Amazon.  Any other suggestions as to where it might be found?

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I found Gold Medal available in 8oz jars at the manufacturer's website with reasonable shipping cost.  I've ordered a few bottles to try - and will definitely provide a review here.  Their website is https://www.cfsauer.com.

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Thanks for that information @docjavadude. I ordered one as well. (Actually, I ordered two. It made the shipping cost, which stayed the same, seem more reasonable.)

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I use it all the time now when I bake. I think it's very good. I use it in cookies, cakes, biscotti. I've never done a side-by-side taste test with real vanilla so I can't tell you about taste differences, but there is no ersatz taste in anything I've used this with. It's good stuff. I wish I could find it in a supermarket around here, but I've never seen it anywhere so I'll just have to re-order it online. 

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Hey Daniel, I meant to "report" on my comparison sooner.  Bottom line for me: Gold Medal all the way for baking, real vanilla extract for uncooked and particularly delicate dishes.  There are no off-putting aromas or flavors with the Gold Medal artificial vanilla in cookies and cakes that I compared side-to-side with ones baked with extract at all -- quite the opposite, actually.  The baked goods fared as well, if not better, with the artificial flavoring.  This has not been the case when I've compared previously with other brands of artificial vanilla flavoring.  There is something about the Gold Medal brand that excels in the comparisons.  It is, of course, significantly less expensive than vanilla extract.  I've made the switch -- I'm now baking with Gold Medal.

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