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Vanilla bean pod

Dried natural vanilla bean pods are the best variety of vanilla available. Natural ground vanilla or vanilla extracts also good alternatives.
The information we compiled for this ingredient is almost complete and includes many specific details.

Many people believe that this product is a raw food because it appears to be in its natural state. However, in the majority of cases it isn’t raw! This is usually because the production process requires heat, and other alternative processes would involve much more time and money, as is the case here - or it has to be pasteurized. At least one of these reasons applies here.

If a product is labeled as raw, before it is sold it still may be mixed with other products that have undergone cheaper processes. Depending on the product, you may not be able to distinguish any differences when it comes to appearance or taste.

By the way, raw foodists should also understand that there are foods that are raw but that as such contain toxins — or that can only be eaten raw in small quantities. These are indicated with a different symbol.

Macronutrient carbohydrates 91.88%
Macronutrient proteins 4.46%
Macronutrient fats 3.66%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.7g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Nutrient tables

Since vanilla bean pods are blanched at a high temperature after harvest in order to stop the ripening process, commercially available pods are not raw. Furthermore, vanilla bean pods sold in stores are usually “fermented” vanilla since the precursors to vanillin are converted into the aromatic vanillin through the drying and fermentation processes.

Culinary uses:

Vanilla can be purchased either as vanilla bean pods, ground vanilla, vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar. Vanilla flavoring is considered the world’s most popular flavor and is used in a wide variety of foods and beverages. For example, it is a favorite in ice cream, chocolate, and baked goods as well as coffee and sweet drinks.

The food industry substitutes mehyl and ethyl vanillin for real vanilla as these artificial versions are far less expensive.1

Nutritional information:

Natural vanilla is considered a superfood as it has many antioxident properties and is high on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Scale. It is also believed to have antimicrobial and analgesic effects. In addition, vanilla extract contains small amounts of B vitamins and small traces of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron and zinc.

- -Dangers/intolerances:

When propagating vanilla orchids from cuttings or harvesting ripe vanilla beans, care must be taken to avoid contact with the sap from the plant's stems. The sap of most species of Vanilla orchid which exudes from cut stems or where beans are harvested can cause moderate to severe dermatitis if it comes in contact with bare skin. Washing the affected area with warm soapy water will effectively remove the sap in cases of accidental contact with the skin. The sap of vanilla orchids contains Calcium oxalate crystals, which appear to be the main causative agent of contact dermatitis in vanilla plantation workers.1

General information:

Wikipedia: Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), is translated simply as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.

Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavor. As a result, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, and aromatherapy.

-- Vanilla species:

Three major species of vanilla currently are grown globally, all of which derive from a species originally found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-day Mexico. They are V. planifolia (syn. V. fragrans), grown on Madagascar, Réunion, and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean; V. tahitensis, grown in the South Pacific; and V. pompona, found in the West Indies, and Central and South America. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more commonly known as Bourbon vanilla (after the former name of Réunion, Île Bourbon) or Madagascar vanilla, which is produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, and in Indonesia.1


  1. Wikipedia. Vanilla [Internet]. Version dated March 16, 2018 [Cited on 16, 2018]. Available from: