Vanillin is crystalline powder (colourless needle-shaped crystals) which has typical taste and a nice scentof vanilla. Vanillin is contained in vanilla’s plant, cane-sugar, balsam of Peru, benzoin, potato peelings, raw alcohol and other. Vanillin, which is often used as a substitute for vanilla, dissolves easily in hot water, spirits and ether.
In the present-day reality vanillin remains among the most expensive spices of the world. And this is connected not only with a difficulty in cultivation of such a plant as vanilla, because hand-pollination is needed, as only half of flowers provide the yield. The problem is in a long, technologically complex process of production the vanilla as well. Vanillin is contained in the yield of vanilla in the form of glucoside in small quantity (1-3%), and this fact is concerned with the expensiveness of its manufacture and necessity of working out the synthetical substitute. However, as any substitute, vanillin does not repeat the whole gamut of a delicate scent of the natural vanilla, because of the minor aroma constituents in the ethereal oil of vanilla.
Modern production of vanillin.
The motherland of the natural vanillin is Mexico, and it is produced form the orchid yields named Vanilla Planifola. At present this plant is spreaded in the rainforests of the whole world and the main producer of the natural vanillin is Madagascar. The yields of vanilla are gathered while they are green, in this condition they do not possess the vanilla scent and contain vanillin in the form of glycoside. After gathering, the yields are being aged for several months till the appearance of the distinctive vanilla scent.
Vanillin has found the adaptation in cookery, perfumery, liqueur business and in the production of medicaments.
Vanillin in cookery.
Vanilla scent is considered as one of the most popular and widely used flavors in the beverage and foodstuff production. The modern food industry actively uses vanillin for aromatization the products, for stenghtening the intension of the other flavours, and also for softening or masking undesirable taste.
Popular sorts of Vanillin.
Crystalline Vanillin. This sort of vanillin has a classical vanilla scent. It possesses the stability towards a high working temperature, and does not lose its qualities during 25 minutes at 220-250 °C. It is actively used in bread baking and the production of pastry and ice-cream. It dissolves in water at 75°C, and in alcohol at 20°C.
Powdery Vanillin. Actually this is the mixture of aromatic substances and different amplifying additives on the basis of lactose, dextrose, maltodextrin and others. Compared to crystalline vanillin, powdery vanillin is smaller, that is good for the chocolate production, because in this case the crystals of vanillin are already crumbled up and thus they have more intensive scent. This kind of vanillin is more producible because it dissolves in water easier. In addition, by adding different aromatic additives, it is possible to get a wide range of flavorings, which may be fruit, berry or other.
Liquid vanilla flavorings. Some technologists prefer the presence of only liquid components (both in fat and water soluble forms), and this fact dictates the necessity of working out the liquid vanillin. Liquid vanilla flavoring is crystalline vanillin dissolved in ethyl alcohol, propylene glycol, tryacetin. The main parameters for dissolving the vanillin is concentration and the temperature of the dissolvent itself. For example, propylene glycol has a high boiling temperature - 180°C, and that is why the liquid flavorings which are made on its basis also possess a high thermal stability and are used in the production of dairy products, peverages and pastry. Tryacetin is used as the basis in the products with prevalent fat medium, because in finished products it exposes the scent more fully.
Peculiarities of vanillin usage.
The quantity of employed vanillin is defined by the stage of preparation, on which the vanillin is added, by the working temperature and by other parameters. It is importan not to overdose the vanillin as it can add the bitter taste to the product.
In pastry it is preferable to use the vanillin of thermostable marks, because the working temperature is high enough. It is important to know that the vanillin must be added either during the mixing the dry ingredients or dissolved in fat, because the fats binds the aroma. The average dosage of vanillin is 3-10 grams per 1 kg of dough.
The crystalline and powdery vanillin is used in the chocolate production as these kinds don’t change the tenacity of the product.
Powdery and liquid vanillin is used for the aromatization the products which contain milk (desserts, ice-cream, youghurt), and 0.5-3 grams is needed per 1 kg of product.
Vanillin is used in the production of some sorts of fortified wines and liqueurs, because it improves the scent of the beverages.