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Vanillin (spice): useful properties and contraindications

Such a spice as vanillin is present in almost every kitchen. It has a pleasant aroma, often used in the preparation of culinary delights. The aroma of this spice is the strongest love aphrodisiac.

What is vanillin and what is it made of

Vanilla is an evergreen perennial liana belonging to the Orchidaceae family. Familiar to many cooks, vanillin is made from the vanilla pods that form after the plant has flowered. Unripe pods are used for cooking and are subjected to special processing. The plant is dried in a well-ventilated room for about two to three months until a white coating appears, which symbolizes the readiness of the spice for processing.

Benefits and harms of vanillin

This aromatic plant is native to Mexico. Europeans, once introduced to this spice, wanted to spread it to other areas of the numerous colonies, but the culture did not bear fruit. It was not until 1836 that a Belgian scientist discovered that the flowers were pollinated by mellipons, voracious bees that lived only in Mexico. No other insects could do this.

In 1841, an ordinary boy found a way to artificially pollinate vanilla flowers. He used a tiny chip to push aside the membrane that prevented the flower from self-pollinating, and with his thumbs he transferred pollen to the pistil. This had to be done with each flower. This method was widespread throughout the world.

But pollinating the flower is only half the job. You have to pick the pods at a certain period of ripeness, and the ripening time of each pod is different. After harvesting, they should be subjected to heat treatment in order to stop unfavorable fermentation. Then the pods should be wrapped in a natural wool cloth and allowed to lie in sunlight for about two weeks for not more than an hour. Then they should be dried for a long time until white crystals appear - this is vanillin. It should mature in this state for about another couple of months.

Varieties of

The following varieties of vanilla are grown for production as a spice:

  • fragrant;
  • Tahitian;
  • Antilles.

Fragrant vanilla has large, light green foliage and fairly large, light yellow flowers. Each inflorescence has about 7-9 flowers. It is native to Indonesia and the Caribbean and can also be found in Central America.

Antillean vanilla is extracted from the plant. The spice needs a hot climate and the altitude should not exceed 500 meters. It is produced in Central America and Panama.

A cross between Antillean vanilla and fragrant vanilla resulted in the Tainian vanilla. It is grown in Polynesia and some regions of the Pacific Ocean. For the growth of this plant you need a humid southern climate. The spice is used as a decoration.

Vanillin can be in several forms: crystalline, powdered and liquid.

  1. The crystalline form has a classic vanilla scent and does not lose its spicy qualities at high temperatures. It is often added to baked goods and ice cream.
  2. Powdered vanillin is a kind of mixture with various flavor and odor enhancers. It has a fine structure compared to crystalline. It is used in the making of chocolate.
  3. The liquid form of vanilla flavoring is used in the manufacture of dairy-based dishes, various drinks and pastries. It is obtained from a crystalline form dissolved in alcohol.

What is the difference between vanillin and vanilla sugar?

Vanilla sugar is made by mixing vanillin powder and regular sugar or powder, while vanillin is an artificial substance that is analogous to vanilla. Usually 500 grams of sugar or powdered sugar is mixed with two pods during production.

Vanilla and vanillin: what's the difference

Vanilla is of natural origin. It comes from the fruit of vanilla. Vanillin is a powder, which has a crystalline structure and a characteristic pleasant vanilla flavor, without color. This powder is perfectly soluble in water. Because of the high cost and difficulty of growing the plant, a powder was created in which vanilla extract is added.

Composition and calories

The composition of vanilla includes aromatic substances, essential oils, balsams, fats, sugars and resins. In addition, it also contains significant amounts of carbohydrates, some proteins and fats, as well as B vitamins, PP, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin and pyridoxine.

In 100 grams of vanillin - 288 kcal.

Useful properties of vanilla

Useful properties of vanilla

General Benefits

  1. Has a pleasantly sweet mild aroma that helps a person to relax and calm down.
  2. Helps relieve nervous tension, helps to cope with irritation, remove anxiety.
  3. Copes with anxiety and insomnia.
  4. Has a curative effect on the nervous system.
  5. It is a powerful anti-carcinogen, antioxidant and antidepressant.
  6. It can lower blood pressure.
  7. Helps with allergic reactions, cramps, fevers, arthritis.
  8. It fights inflammatory processes in the body.
  9. Normalizes digestive processes.

For women.

Vanilla helps to normalize the menstrual cycle, relieves premenstrual syndrome, helps to cope with painful sensations. As vanilla has a sedative effect, it is used for inflammation of the digestive, cardiovascular, excretory and respiratory systems. It is used in various cosmetic procedures.

For men

Vanilla can have beneficial effects on the digestive organs. The essential oils that are part of the spice contribute to improving the appetite. In folk medicine, there are many recipes based on vanilla to treat diseases such as dyspepsia, rheumatism, cramps, fevers, which are so common in men.

In Pregnancy.

The use of vanilla during pregnancy is not recommended. This spice promotes appetite and may provoke an allergic reaction.

Video: How to eat well during pregnancy Expand

When breastfeeding

In the first months of breastfeeding, you especially want sweet baked goods. But, as you know, sweets from the store have in their composition various flavor enhancers and flavorings, which can have a negative impact on the health of the little child. Therefore, their use should be treated with great caution. Because of the pleasant aroma of sweets that contain vanillin, you want to eat in the first place. However, you need to be careful, because the flavoring can provoke an allergy in a baby. It is necessary to start with a small piece of a treat and wait about two days. If the baby did not have rashes on the face, did not have problems with the tummy, you can eat the spice, but in small quantities.

For children

Vanillin is a strong allergen, so you should use it with great caution. It is contraindicated for children under the age of three.

Due to the presence of essential oils in vanillin, it has a favorable effect on the digestive system. This spice reduces the risk of diabetes, due to the presence of antioxidants it improves eyesight, helps to relieve nervous tension and cope with stress.

When losing weight

Traditional medicine says that vanilla helps to get rid of excess weight. The spice is used as a flavoring that can "satisfy" hunger, which will help eliminate flour and sweets from the diet more quickly.

When vanillin is added to coffee or tea, the spice helps to reduce the production of the hormone responsible for hunger. This drink is usually drunk 30 minutes before a meal. This will help to eat less food and thus have a favorable effect on the weight loss process.

Vanillin in medicine

A pleasant spice should be included in the daily diet for health problems, the appearance of neurosis and outbursts of aggression, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, irregular menstrual cycle, menopausal disorders, a tendency to excessive consumption of alcohol, diabetes, flatulence, colitis, colic. It is used in disorders of the nervous system, to get rid of rheumatism, dyspepsia, to increase appetite. Vanillin is an excellent folk medicine remedy, used for anemia, able to stimulate and excite the muscular system.

Vanillin in medicine

Vanilla extract should not be smeared on the mucous membranes of the mouth, dripped into the ears and nostrils, rinsed and microclysters made. All other treatments with vanilla essential oil are quite applicable.

Vanillin is used for scenting the air, rubbing, compresses, skin care, and baths. Vanilla oil increases the elasticity of the skin, makes it soft, eliminates irritation and rashes, reduces inflammation.

Vanilla extract serves as an additive for many medicines, getting rid of their bitter taste and unpleasant odor.

For Diabetes Mellitus

Vanillin can be added to dishes that are specially prepared for people with diabetes. But this does not apply to vanilla sugar, the use of which in this disease is prohibited, as it contributes to a sharp increase in blood sugar. With the help of this spice for people with diabetes, you can prepare many healthy dishes, to diversify, make a richer and richer taste of ordinary food.


Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. To get rid of this disease, you should reconsider your usual diet and stick to a strict diet. With this disease, experts recommend excluding all hot spices from dishes, minimize the amount of salt consumed.

In order to diversify the menu, vanillin is often used as an additive to baked goods and other approved dishes. This will make the menu most attractive and rich in flavor.

Its uses in cosmetology

The application of vanilla in cosmetology began a long time ago. They used vanilla oil and applied it to the entire length of the hair to make it soft and silky. Nowadays, cosmetology companies use vanilla extract in the production.

You can take a relaxing bath based on vanilla extract. All you need to do is add a few drops of vanilla extract to a honey-milk, slightly salted mixture. Add the mixture to a bathtub filled with water.

Vanillin can be used to make an anti-cellulite body mask. To do this, you need to mix the following ingredients: 250 g of sugar, 50 g of ground coffee, 15 drops of vanilla oil. Apply to the skin with massaging movements, but not on the face or on inflamed and sensitive areas of the body.

Vanilla has a wonderful fragrance, so it is often added to eau de toilette and perfume.

To soften and give your hair a healthy shine, you should use conditioners and shampoos with vanilla oil in your care.

  1. To speed up hair growth you can prepare the following mask. You should mix together 10 grams of finely grated ginger root, 25 g of thick sour cream and 3 drops of vanilla oil. Apply the mixture to the roots of the hair, leave it for 20 minutes, then rinse with water. To consolidate the effect, you can rinse your hair with a decoction of chamomile.
  2. To cope with the problem of excessive hair loss will help the following mask. For its preparation, you need to mix 2 drops of vanilla oil, 7 g of coconut oil and 5 g of burdock oil. Mixing the ingredients, warm them in a water bath, then distribute on the scalp. Keep the composition overnight, wrapping your head with a towel. Wash the mask with shampoo.
  3. To strengthen the hair, to give them luster, you need to prepare the following mask. First, mix 2 drops of vanilla oil with 3 egg yolks, add to the resulting mixture 30 grams of brewer's yeast. Apply the product to clean, slightly damp hair. Wrap your head with a towel for 1 hour, then rinse with shampoo. This mask is recommended to use no more than 5 times a month.
  4. To make your hair silky and smooth, you need to use the following mask. Mix 3 drops of vanilla essential oil, 20 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and the same amount of sunflower oil. Mix all the ingredients well together and apply to dry, clean hair. Wrap the head in cling film and warm the hair for 10 minutes with warm air from a hair dryer. Then rinse the mask, using shampoo.
  5. To give thick hair will help the following remedy. For its preparation need 3 drops of vanilla oil, 5 ml of almond oil. Mix 20 grams of ground henna with tea in a separate bowl. Add the oil to the mixture and stir to a smooth paste. Mask applied to the roots, then wrap hair with a towel. Hold the mask for about 2 hours. Wash it off with shampoo.

Homemade masks, containing in its composition vanilla, should be used no more than two times during the week. Hair will become more abundant, will gain a healthy shine, the problem of split ends and hair loss will disappear.

Vanilla oil is also used in the preparation of homemade face masks.

  1. This mask will help to get rid of wrinkles. To prepare it, mix 2 drops of vanilla oil with the puree of 1 avocado and 1 banana. The resulting mixture applied to the skin in a thick layer. Wash off the mask after 30 minutes. Use this mixture can be used once a week.
  2. If bothered by frequent rashes, pimples, you should try the following mask. Mix 2 drops of vanilla oil and 20 drops of grape seed oil, add 10 g of thistle oil and the same amount of corn starch. Dilute it with mineral water until the consistency of thick sour cream. Apply the mask to problem areas and keep for about 10 minutes.
  3. To cope with dry skin on the face, you should use the following mask. For its preparation, mix 2 drops of vanilla oil with 10 ml of olive oil, 2 drops of sandalwood oil, mix into the resulting mixture 1 egg yolk, whisk everything. The resulting mixture is heated in a water bath and applied to steamed clean skin. It is recommended to leave the mask on the face all night or keep it for about 3 hours. Rinse off and apply fat cream.

Vanillin in cooking

Vanillin and vanilla sugar, a processed spice, is often used in the preparation of culinary delights. It is most often used in syrup form or mixed with granulated sugar. Real vanilla is added to desserts, confections and pastries. For a special flavor and pleasant aroma, it is added to various liqueurs, fillings for cakes, mulled wine, cocktails and homemade.

Cooking with vanillin

Artificial vanillin, a substitute for natural vanilla, is most commonly found in the store. Unlike the original, the artificial spice has a pungent smell. 20 grams of vanillin powder replaces 1 kg of vanilla sticks.

In production, the spice is added to candies, chocolates. To give dishes and drinks a vanilla flavor half an hour before serving them to the table, you should put a vanilla bean, about 15 cm long, before taking out the dish it should be removed. Vanilla sugar is most often added to pastries and desserts.

Vanilla syrup is used to coat cakes and biscuits. To prepare the vanilla syrup, you should take 400 grams of granulated sugar and mix it with 1 cup of water. Melt the mixture over low heat, then let it cool. Separately, mix 3 grams of vanillin and 50 grams of vodka. Pour it into the cooled sugar syrup and mix everything until it becomes homogeneous.

What can be used as a substitute?

Vanilla is a rather expensive spice, so it is often replaced by artificially prepared vanilla or vanilla sugar. In addition, vanillin can be replaced by equally fragrant spices, such as cinnamon, chicory, vanilla syrup or powder.

Harms and contraindications

This spice is forbidden during pregnancy, but you should be careful during the breastfeeding period. This spice is prohibited during pregnancy, and should be careful during the breastfeeding period. The spice can cause a strong allergic reaction.

Vanilla increases the sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet light, so after the application of a mask or cream containing this spice should not go out into the open sun for a while.

Can vanillin be added?

Vanillin is used as a flavoring agent in various home preparations.

In jam

Vanillin, when added to sweet jam, gives the jam even more richness, sweetness and flavor and brings out more of the flavor of the fruit or berry. Although some housewives believe that vanillin tints the natural flavor of the product, and should not be added. So whether or not to add this spice to jam - depends on the taste preferences of the hostess.


Often hostesses when making pancakes add vanilla sugar to the batter. This spice gives the dessert a delicate aroma and a special taste, stimulates the appetite. For the basis of pancake batter, any products will do - it can be water, milk, kefir, yogurt.


This spice is added in the preparation of various cocktails, such as vanilla mocha, latte and other varieties. Vanilla sugar is added to Raph coffee. In the United States, a drink called French Vanilla is made.

Only when heated does vanillin or vanilla impart its aroma and sweet flavor to the drink. This is why it will be almost imperceptible in a cold coffee, but it will add a nice spice to the espresso. These flavorings should be added as you brew. Vanilla syrups are also used in coffee drinks. It is best to add vanilla sugar to coffee, the natural spice will give a rather peculiar flavor.

In a compote

When making compotes, vanillin is added during the cooking process. The spice enhances the natural sweet taste of fruits and berries from which the drink is brewed.

How to choose and store

Experienced cooks advise to pay attention to the appearance of the spice. It should be smooth, not thin, quite pliable pods, which when bent should not break. If there is a white film on the surface of the vanilla - this is a sign of high quality product.

The spice can be stored in a closed container for up to three years. If the pack has a plastic clasp, the vanilla pods in it will not go bad for about three months. However, they should be stored at room temperature no higher than 26 degrees, otherwise the pods will begin to release moisture. It is best not to store vanilla in the refrigerator, as it gradually loses moisture and mold forms on the surface.

The best way to store it is in cling film or wax paper. Spice sticks should be wrapped in paper or food wrap in several layers, put in a glass container. The glass container should be placed in a place where direct sunlight will not fall, in which it will be dry and cool. The container should be well covered, otherwise the spice will absorb all extraneous odors, and can also dry out. After a couple of weeks, the vanilla pods should be taken out and left to air out for a quarter of an hour.

By applying these simple methods of care and storage, you can keep the spice in its original form for a couple of years. In practice, there are cases where vanilla has been usable even after 30 years of storage.

Often a white crystalline residue appears on the surface of the spice; many inexperienced housewives may mistake this for mold and throw away usable pods. This coating confirms the quality of vanilla pods. In order not to confuse it with mold, you should look closely at the pods. Vanillin crystals shine in the light, while mold is a matte shade. Yes, and the spoiled product smells very specific.

Interesting facts about vanilla

Interesting Facts about Vanilla

  1. The scent of vanilla contributes to the production of the pleasure hormone.
  2. Vanilla is considered one of the most expensive spices in the world because of the difficulty in growing it.
  3. In June, the spice's homeland, Mexico, hosts an annual vanilla festival.
  4. There are over a hundred varieties of vanilla, but only three varieties are specially grown. They grow on the island of Madagascar.
  5. The Aztecs used vanilla as the equivalent of money in the 16th century.
  6. Artificial vanillin has nothing to do with natural vanilla. It is made synthetically from such products: pine bark, clove oil, waste products from paper manufacturing, rice bran, nowadays - petrochemical compounds.
  7. Vanilla seeds are most valued by cooks, they have a very intense flavor. They are used in baking, added to dairy products.
  8. Vanilla is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs in the world.
  9. Until now, vanilla has only been harvested by hand; no one has ever had the chance to harvest it automatically.
  10. In the past, every vanilla bean was numbered on a vanilla plantation for fear of theft, because vanilla was very expensive.
  11. In the distant past, vanilla was used as a medicine, nowadays it is added to medicines to give them a pleasant aroma and to soften an unpleasant aftertaste.

«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. purposes. Consult with your health care professional before applying any recommendations. specialist before using the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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