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Vanillin is one of the main compounds in vanilla
Though researchers are working to create artificial versions, none have succeeded thus far. The problem is that vanillylic acid (the other major compound found in vanilla) does not exist in plant extracts.
When plants are processed, the phenolic acids are broken down but the alcohols — primarily vanillylavender alcohol and vanillylanin alcohol — remain. And since these chemicals don’t break down during processing, they end up concentrated in any extract made from those plants.
Combining our current knowledge about how to make an alcoholic solution and what constitutes “vanilla flavor” with scientific data about vanillyic acid and its contribution to the taste of vanilla, we can explain why it’s impossible to make a drink using only pure vanillyic acid. We already know that this tiny molecule has extremely mild flavor, so at best you’d only detect the slightest hint of something else in your mouth.
That said, even the smallest amount of vanillyic acid will give a very subtle impression of vanilla! So unless you were drinking multiple glasses all at once, you would never be able to notice the difference between that and another subtly flavored substance. Which makes sense, because humans haven’t evolved enough to distinguish between slightly different flavors.
What we do have developed enough to recognize are differences in intensity, and we usually find beverages with higher levels of alcohol to be more intense. Also, people generally like their
Vanillin is a flavoring
Besides sweetening, vanilla extract can also be used as a flavor enhancer in foods like cakes, muffins, sauces, curry dishes, desserts, beverages, and snacks. It adds depth and complexity to recipes through complementation, which means it tends to work well with other flavors.
However, not all vanilla extracts are created equal. Some may cost more than others, but actually contain less vanillin or even include ingredients that distort the intensity of the product’sVanilinause which is why you typically have to pay for extra flavor.
Additionally, some brands use artificial sources instead of natural oils. These can sometimes be just as effective, though they tend to produce shorter-lasting results.
Lastly, some types of extracts can put off undesirable chemicals such as diacetyl, a compound linked to health problems including lung disease and cancer. Products containing any amount of diacetyl should be avoided until further research has been done regarding its safety.
You can snort vanilla
Many people choose to enjoy the subtle flavor of plain vanilla extract without drinking it. While you may not want to drop eye liner into your face, there are other ways to take in the benefits of this natural flavonoid. One of these ways is through sniffing or snorting!
If you have mucous membranes like you do with your nose. Then you can use a nasal spray to access the rest of your body’s mucous membrane system.
This way you can easily absorb some of the beneficial ingredients in vanilla. There are many different varieties of flavored sprays that you can purchase at pharmacies and grocery stores.
You can also find ones that are designed specifically for aromatherapy. These can be very expensive, but they are still useful tools to have in your kitchen.
It’s best to start with a mild smelling salt such as pepper to make it easier to transition into an odor that you are used to. It will help decrease any potential soreness or irritation.
Just add a few drops of one of these sprays into your nostrils, then wait for about 30 seconds. Once you’ve made contact, hold this position for another thirty seconds before slowly releasing.
Do not breathe deeply until told to by your doctor; breathing heavily could damage your lungs. If you already suffer from allergies, avoid blowing your nose, which could lead to additional complications.
You can ingest vanilla
Although vanillin is what gives extracts their signature flavor, you don’t actually want to eat it. That is, most of the time, dry ingredients (such as sugar) bind directly with water, creating a smooth paste that doesn’t easily dissolve in liquid.
When this occurs inside your mouth, you swallow solid particles that make going up your nose very difficult. Also, any trapped air bubbles get pushed through your nasal passages instead of getting stuck like they would if you had wet powder in your nose. This makes for a less painful swallowing experience than trying to pour a glass of water down your throat.
However, when these additives are frozen into ice crystals, they can trigger coughing attacks in those who suffer from chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma.
In fact, some studies have linked excessive inhaling or exhaling of volatile oils used to produce extracted flavoring boosts symptoms in asthmatic persons. People who live at high altitudes could also possibly benefit by avoiding inhalation of excess oil.
Extracts are generally more potent
Many people view liquid extracts with skepticism. After all, how can you possibly drink something that takes oil already dried and/or refined?!
The reason is because of the chemical composition of the ingredients. When you make an extract, you’re basically isolating one specific thing from its original source material and then using a solvent to remove everything else.
This extraction helps separate out the active compound from the rest of the ingredient so that your product contains it in pure form. With this kind of purification, however, comes intensity.
Because you’ve taken away all the other parts of the plant, what remains is the very element that makes the herb or spice useful. By removing these other elements, you end up with more of whatever quality you want but at the expense of consuming less of the overall item.
For example, while you can certainly consume the leaves and roots of plants as part of a tea recipe, doing so requires twice as much leaves and ties up half of the nutrients inside them. By turning those same leaves and roots into extract, though, you can flavor water with just enough of the nutrient to put out a fire.
It works like a light bulb-you have hot air trapped inside a glass tube when you blow cool air over a heating lamp! The hot air gives off vapor (like nitrogen does in rockets) which travels down through the tube and escapes at the bottom as steam.
It’s hard to extract the perfect flavor
Vanillin is what gives vanilla beans their signature sweet smell and taste. But evaporating water alone isn’t enough to make an enjoyable drink — unless you like your drinks extremely strong. In fact, pure vanillin tastes so similar to another major flavor in food called cinnamon that it can be difficult for consumers to tell the two ingredients apart.
Because of this blending problem, only cultivars (a hybrid plant made by crossing different species) with very high levels of vanillin are used in commercial products. And even then, manufacturers sometimes have to use other flavors to complement the scent or take away some of the sweetness.
Consuming large quantities over time may also lead to health issues. Recent studies show that flavones can produce symptoms associated with rhinocerebral polyomavirus disease. However, since people don’t usually ingest more than 25 milligrams per day, the risk is low.
It’s easier to extract flavor in large quantities
Although you can drink vanilla extracts with egg yolks, oils, milk, and other ingredients that you may have around, such as coffee beans or chocolate chips- they are very hard to find.
That is because most manufacturers do not purify their extracts enough.
They keep some of the particles from the oil solution to boost perfumey benefits and reduce costs, which means there are still trace amounts of dirt and debris left in your beverage.
You might also try making your own flavored vanillas by using pure vegetable oil instead of purified alcohol. You can either buy pre-made oils or you can experiment with combinations of vegetables and herbs to get flavors that you like.
You can dilute it
Many people limit the amount of vanilla extract they use because of its solid status. However, this doesn’t mean you have to throw away your bottle! There are several ways in which you can diluted it.
For instance, you can put some extracts inside a soda maker or make your own infusé by heating your extract with sugar water. This will produce a syrup that can be used in place of regular white sugar.
You can also anise your liquid (this produces a similar effect to cinnamon). But, remember that both ingredients is what makes up the family “sweeteners.”)
There are many options for those who want to enjoy their drinks but still maintain the flavor of the original recipe.
It’s not recommended that you ingest large quantities
Although it is true that Vanillin has sweet tasting properties, there are no studies indicating how many mg of vanillin can be consumed through consumption of food or drinks containing this ingredient.
Because it is unknown, there are no established safety values for long term consumption. Many consumer products contain significant amounts of vanilla extract, such as toothpastes, shampoos, face masks, and cosmetic and pharmaceutical medications.
Although there are little risks associated with short term exposure (up to 48 hours), scientific research suggests that prolonged use may have adverse effects. Studies show that repeated doses over several days reduce sodium excretion, inhibit vitamin C and fat absorption, and impair glucose and insulin metabolism.
These laboratory findings were confirmed in humans. In a one week study, Lie et al found that urine concentrations of sucrose increased significantly, while urinary succinate + fumarate decreased compared to baseline levels, indicative of intestinal bacterial metabolization. Consequently, plasma homoexulfide, a sulfur-containing amino acid product of flavin catabolism, also declined after just 1 day.
These changes are likely responsible for the mild abdominal symptoms patients experienced, including fullness and bloating. Since these mucosal differences occurred despite normal gastrointestinal function, they must be attributed to chemical–biologic interactions within the gut.