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ALTAF

Vanilla with no alcohol?

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Hello,

Due to religious reasons, we cannot use pure vanilla extract in baked goods because it containes alcohol.

what is the best to use in this sitiuation: artificial vanilla extract or vanillin? and shall i use it in the same amount the recipe calls for?

Thanks in advance.

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The best thing to do is buy a few vanilla pods and put it in a container of sugar. Then you can use vanilla sugar for your baking. You only have to use a tablespoon or so of the vanilla sugar. Make sure that you split the vanilla pods before you put them in the sugar to ensure that you will have a strong vanilla flavour.

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nielson massey makes vanilla powder that would be good for you

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I think it comes in paste form as well, but I'm not sure whether it contains alcohol as well.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Cooks Illustrated believe that it's almost impossible to tell natural vanilla from vanillan in baked goods anyway. Why not do a double blind on a batch of whatever your making and see if anybody can spot the difference? If not, you might save a bundle by switching to vanillian.


PS: I am a guy.

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There are a number of places that offer powdered, spray dried (or plated) vanilla powders, be it powdered vanilla extract or commercially available vanilla sugar. Vanillin is an option as someone mentioned, but you should also keep in mind your customer - if it's an unlabelled product, there is no issue as pure vanilla is 90some % vanillin anyway. However, and i'm only using this as an example, some of the folks over at seventypercent.com forums are convinced that vanillin in pure evil, and should in absolutely no circumstances be given any consideration. Now, I truely doubt that they're able to taste the difference between vanillin and vanilla at the levels they're being used, but it does indicate that at some level, there is a perception difference. Just something to keep in mind.

There are also vanilla oleoresins available, but they're pretty expensive (and very strong).

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You could also store the vanilla pods in glycerin instead of sugar. That would give you a pourable liquid product.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Vanilla beans or powder would taste best, but they are pricey. Artificial vanilla would work fine. Usually artificial extracts are substituted volume-for-volume with real vanilla extracts, but the truth is that the artificial extracts are often a bit stronger. FDA requires that real vanilla extracts be at least 35% alcohol, whereas artificial extracts don't have to have alcohol at all and usually contain less than 35%. Cook's actually tested for vanillan content and found that artifical extracts had 3,290 mg/l, compared to 2,110 mg/l in the natural extract.

As Shalmanese alluded to, Cook's Illustrated has done 3 blind tests of artificial versus natural vanilla, and found every time that they are indistinguishable. This was even true for the test they did with creme anglaise, where any flavor differences should really stand out.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Vanilla flavor; no alcohol.

Clickety here.

I agree with previous recommendations to use artificial vanilla extract. I have used powdered vanilla and organic vanilla extract and have never noticed a difference between these expensive items and artificial... at least not in the basic items that a I bake (cookies, brownies, pies, etc.) I made the switch after reading the results of Cook's Illustrated's tests, when the price of vanilla skyrocketed a few years ago.


Ilene

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Alcohol and Gluten-free vanilla.

This is an excellent product.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Unless you treat yourself to a heavenly soujourn in Papantla, Veracruz, Mx where vanilla is indigenous, visit the Vanilla Gods: Nielsen-Massey. I would recommend either beans, powder, or the paste (check ingredients, it may contain sorbitol, but I don't believe it contains any alcohol.

Please, please give the artificial stuff a Viking burial in the back yard!

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Please, please give the artificial stuff a Viking burial in the back yard!

Why would anyone want to do that?


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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To get rid of it, Cher. To exterminate it. Incinerate it. Wrap it in a napkin, insert a stick of dynamite in the bottleneck, and kaboom!

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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To get rid of it, Cher.  To exterminate it.  Incinerate it.  Wrap it in a napkin, insert a stick of dynamite in the bottleneck, and kaboom!

Oh, I see. Why should anyone want to get rid of their artificial vanilla?


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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To me ... and this may be a personal biochemical twist ... it tastes really, really bad. A DuPont reject on the road to discovering Velpar ..., etc.

I wish to be clear: that is how it tastes to me. Maybe not to others. So I avoid it like the plague. That's all. But humor me a bit here, it is a sense I am lacking ....

Theabroma


Edited by theabroma (log)

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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To me ... and this may be a personal biochemical twist ... it tastes really, really bad. . .  that is how it tastes to me.  Maybe not to others.  .  .

Fair enough. I think its just you. Your perceptions do seem paradoxical, though, because I dont think there are any flavor compounds in artificial extract that are not also in real vanilla extract.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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While it is true that artificial vanilla is made pretty much entirely of vanillin, which is the main chemical componant of real vanilla, the difference is mostly in what is absent...real vanilla contains between 250 and 300 chemical compounds which give it the complex flavor for which it is prized--artificial vanilla, with its one flavor compound, does taste different.

In college I took a course in the Sensory Evaluation of Foods. In that course, we learned to identify chocolate and ice cream that used vanillin vs. vanilla--however, we were also trained to notice the difference, whereas most consumers are not.

Also, some of the commercial vanillin making processes generate toxic waste (benzene among other things), while other more modern techniques are more environmentally friendly (they produce "more manageable" waste). Regardless of the way in which they are produced, most vanillin is made with industrial by-products, either of the wood pulp and paper industries or of the petrochemical industries.

Both aesthetics and ethics may be a consideration for some people when making a decision about which vanilla products to use.


Owner of Salt in Montpelier, VT

www.saltcafevt.com

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While it is true that artificial vanilla is made pretty much entirely of vanillin, which is the main chemical componant of real vanilla, the difference is mostly in what is absent...real vanilla contains between 250 and 300 chemical compounds which give it the complex flavor for which it is prized--artificial vanilla, with its one flavor compound, does taste different.

Of course there are nonvanillan flavor compounds, but the important question is to what extent they contribute favorably to the flavor. They apparently add little or nothing to overall subjective impression. If they did, then natural extracts would be ranked higher than artificial vanillas in blind comparisons, whereas the in the 3 tests CI has described, tasters could not even tell the difference and did not in any test express an overall preference for natural vanilla.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Here's another bit of data on the natural vanilla extract/artificial vanilla question, presented at the 2002 Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting. Parker and Penfield report results from an "(h)edonic evaluation of natural and artificial vanilla in ice creams," (a standard test where people are given samples and asked to rate) using 72 tasters and 4 ice creams. Their result was that "(f)or overall liking, there was no significant difference between the artificial and natural flavored ice creams." Their sample was much larger than the ones CI had for their tastings in panna cotta, creme anglaise, milk, and cake. Link


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Fair enough. I think its just you. Your perceptions do seem paradoxical, though, because I dont think there are any flavor compounds in artificial extract that are not also in real vanilla extract.

But I do believe that there are compounds in a cured seedpod of V. planifolia which are not present in artificial vanilla. It's rather like the Hallellujah ... but without the Chorus, no?

The only mouth I can use as a guide is my own. And my point of reference when I'm in the vanilla mode is Mexican, from the area of Norther Veracruz, around Papantla. I am not thinking of Bourbon or Tahitian varieties.

This is interesting!!!

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Fair enough. I think its just you. Your perceptions do seem paradoxical, though, because I dont think there are any flavor compounds in artificial extract that are not also in real vanilla extract.

But I do believe that there are compounds in a cured seedpod of V. planifolia which are not present in artificial vanilla.

Yes, and this raises an interesting question that, so far as I know, has not been answered: Why do good beans gives a flavor that is so much better than extract made from the same type of beans? I know from my own experiments that I can detect no difference between natural and artificial extracts, but that I can detect a difference between good beans and an extract. Either alcohol vanilla extraction does not capture all of the flavors that are in the bean, or the flavor compounds are somehow broken down once they are extracted.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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regardless of artificial vanilla tasting like real vanilla, it's the way it's made that bothers me. i was told in school, that alot of artificial vanilla is a byproduct of wood pulp used for making paper.

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I think that's why most people are so sure that artificial vanilla can't be as good as natural vanilla -- because its all artificial-ly.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I don't know about you but I use maybe 100mL of vanillan a year. I doubt that this is going to significantly affect much of anything in a major way. Compared to the myriad other products that I am using daily which generate toxic byproducts in their production, vanillian constitutes a blip on the radar.

cupcakequeen Why exactly does that bother you? The chemical compounds are exactly the same in both. It's not like there are wood pulp atoms and vanilla bean atoms.

theabroma have you tried doing a pure double blind? Maybe a lot of the difference is psychological.


PS: I am a guy.

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I don't know about you but I use maybe 100mL of vanillan a year. I doubt that this is going to significantly affect much of anything in a major way. Compared to the myriad other products that I am using daily which generate toxic byproducts in their production, vanillian constitutes a blip on the radar.

That's true, but I would go even further and say that its not at all clear that natural or synthetic vanilla have any advantage in terms of environmental impact. One or the other may have the edge, but I don't think you can just assume that it is the natural product. Consider the assertion that benzene is a byproduct of artificial vanillan production. Well, benzene is also generated by the combustion of fossil fuels, and you'll need to burn plenty of fossil fuels to transport those beans by boat or plane from Mexico and Tahiti and New Guinea to their destinations all over the world. And I don't necessarily think its a bad thing that vanillan is made from byproducts of other industrial processes, as opposed to starting from precursor ingredients that require more processing, and hence more energy.

Again, I'm not saying that one is superior to the other in terms of environmental impact, just that I don't know!


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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