Applications of Vanilla Beans

While the whole pod and the vanilla seeds can be used in cooking and other applications, often the vanilla (the vanilla flavor) is extracted from the whole bean pod, and the extract used. Alcohol and sometimes vegetable glycerin oil are the most known liquid solvent used to extract the vanillin. Different types of alcoholic spirits are used but Vodka and Rum are the most commonly used.

How to make a home-made DIY alcohol-vanilla extract:

Split open or chop into pieces 6 whole FITNCLEAN vanilla bean pod into a clean coverable jar containing about 12oz of vodka or your choice alcoholic spirit. You can scale up or down using the stated ratio as a guide but make sure there is enough alcohol to completely submerge the beans. Tightly close the jar and allow content to macerate for about 6-8weeks or longer whiles shaking periodically (every 3-5 days).

Note that according to the FDA the composition of pure vanilla-alcohol extract solution should be ≥ 100 g of vanilla bean pod per liter using a 35% or greater alcohol. The moisture content of the bean pod should be ≤ 25%. (Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drugs, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Food for Human Consumption, Part 169—Food Dressings and Flavorings. Retrieved 5/4/19).

Most common uses of vanilla:

  • Ice Cream, Yoghurt and Frozen Custards
  • Bakers Confectionery
  • Beverages
  • Brewers – spirits, beers (Lagers, IPAs, Ales, Saisons) and wines
  • Beauty Products, Lotions, Soaps