Bali Vanilla vanilla is an orchid and still one of most expensive spices. it is often referred to as "green gold" & "prince of spices" vanilla essence is largely used in the preparation of ice cream, chocolate, bakery product, pudding, pharmaceutical, liquors, perfume, tea, soft drink, aroma therapy etc. this will be a large congregation of vanilla industry.
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as one of the biggest vanilla producer in the world, most of indonesia's vanilla is " planifolia / bourbon and tahitian" which is processed through some high standardized techniques. starting from harvesting, drying until sorting the beans to ensure that the beans are perfectly sorted
we provided vanilla both of planifolia and tahitensis starting grade 1 and we also welcome your own specification and your target price.
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click image to enlarge genus species vanilla planifolia family orchidaceae origin central america, west indies, northern south america cultivated madagascar, comoros islands, reunion, french polynesia, tahiti, indonesia, malaysia, mozambique, seychelles, uganda, guatemala, mexico, description for many people in countries where quality ice cream is readily available, vanilla is the most popular of the non-pungent spices. it has been regarded as one of the most expensive spices along with saffron, cardamon and green peppercorns. the cost of vanilla reflects its historic importance as a flavor used in the royal drinks of the mayans and aztecs that were based on chocolate. the aztecs called vanilla tlilxochitl, and they used it with chile peppers to flavor their drink.
vanilla is found in the seeds of the orchid vine, Bali Vanilla vanilla planifolia (v. fragrans), which is native to mexico. the spaniards likened the bean pods to a little sheath or vaina, which is derived from the similar latin word, vagina! obtaining the flavor can be a several month long process, resulting from slowly fermenting the beans, which contain many small seeds; the ground-up bean is then used in similar fashion to coffee. people who enjoy the strong vanilla taste want to use freshly cured bean, while others accept the commercial extract. true vanilla in ice cream contains tiny dark flecks resulting from the presence of the seeds. however, the vanilla flavor, which is mainly due to vanillin, can be readily chemically synthesized from eugenol or guaiacol, or from lignin derived from tar, wood, or tonka beans. this product lacks the quality of the natural vanilla flavor that develops during the curing of the best beans when glucosides are converted to vanillic aldehyde, which is vanillin, since other aromatic chemicals are also produced.
vanilla trees are grown in mexico, central america (guatemala and especially costa rica), and in some caribbean islands (especially jamaica). however, it is difficult to grow since it is only pollinated by native bees and hummingbirds. it requires artificial fertilization outside its natural habitat, but it can be cultivated through the use of cuttings. following its introduction to the french island of reunion in the indian ocean, a method of hand pollination was introduced in 1841. reunion is still an important site of vanilla production; the variety is called bourbon vanilla, after the former name of the island. madagascar is now the major producer of bourbon vanilla.
when vanilla became popular in 17th century europe, it was used for many indications, varying from stomach ulcers to sedation. as was the case with many spices, it was extolled as an aphrodisiac. today, it may fulfill its latter function when used in high quality baked goods, confectionary and desserts, although most users regard it more prosaically as a delicious flavor that may help digestion. vanilla is used to flavor tobacco and as a fragrance in the cosmetic industry. it is of interest that sensitive workers in the vanilla industry may develop vanillism, resulting in headaches and skin rashes.
artificial vanilla (containing vanillin and ethylvanillin) is acceptable to most tastes, and therefore the export of true vanilla may continue to decline, since the culture and manufacture of the quality product is expensive and relatively non-competitive. moreover, its value as an exotic medicine is no longer accepted. thus the role of the vanilla bean has declined in significance, with over 95% of the worlds supply of vanilla flavor being synthetic. see a list of spices by taste and hotness. useful parts the cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor. medicinal properties vanillin is in the class of vanilloids, that includes surprisingly capsaicin (8-methy-n-vanillyl noneamide) from chile pepper and eugenol from cloves, cinnamon and other spices, and zingerone from ginger. the vanilloid receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems bind with these compounds, resulting in different sensory effects. thus, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation while eugenol results in mild anesthesia; vanillin itself is neutral.
see chemicals in spices. historical view vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. it has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. it has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc. but its use as a medicine is obsolete in this country, although still sometimes employed on the continent and elsewhere. the vanilla orchid
main article: vanilla (orchid)
the main species harvested for vanillin is vanilla planifolia. although it is native to mexico, it is now widely grown throughout the tropics. madagascar is the world's largest producer. additional sources include vanilla pompona and vanilla tahitiensis (grown in tahiti), although the vanillin content of these species is much less than vanilla planifolia.
vanilla grows as a vine, climbing up an existing tree, pole, or other support. it can be grown in a wood (on trees), in a plantation (on trees or poles), or in a "shader", in increasing orders of productivity. left alone, it will grow as high as possible on the support, with few flowers. every year, growers fold the higher parts of the plant downwards so that the plant stays at heights accessible by a standing human. this also greatly stimulates flowering.
vanilla planifolia - flower.about bali
with a reputation as being one of the most beautiful and diverse tourist spots in asia, bali attracts over 1,000,000 visitors a year from all around the world.
geographically, bali lies between the islands of java and lombok and is one of more than 17,000 islands that make up the indonesian archipelago. bali is small, stretching approximately 140 km from east to west and 80 km from north to south. running east to west and slightly off center, are a string of volcanic mountains, the tallest recently active being gunung agung, which reaches 3,142 in at its highest point and last erupted 1963.
lying just 80 south of the equator, bali boasts a tropical climate with just two seasons a year and an average annual temperature of around 280c. the rich volcanic soil and healthy monsoon season make this island extremely fertile and a range of crops are grown here. the wide, gently sloping southern regions play host to bali's famed terraced rice paddies, among the most spectacular in the world. in the hilly, northern coastal regions, the main produce is coffee, copra, spices, vegetables, cattle and rice.
the balinese people have strong spiritual roots and despite the large influx of tourists in recent years, their culture is still very much alive. the main religion is agama hindu dharma, which arrived in bali with the spread of hinduism through sumatra and java during the 11th century. although originally from india, the balinese religion is a unique blend of hindu, buddhist, javanese and ancient indigenous beliefs, with customs that are very different from the traditional form of hinduism practiced in india today. with the arrival of islam in neighboring java during the 15th century, a large number of courtiers, artists, musicians and craftsmen fled to bali, creating an artistic renaissance.
naturally creative, the balinese have traditionally used their talents for religions purposes and most of the beautiful work to be seen here has been inspired by stories from the ramayana and other hindu epics. the incredibly colorful cremation pyres and the everyday offerings to the gods, placed inside every shop and business, are made with precision and an eye for beauty.
the majority of bali's population of 3,000,000 live, for the most part, in tight village communities with large extended families. the largest towns are; the regional capital denpasar, population 250,000, and singaraja in the north. the main tourist area is kuta, situated near the airport. during the tourist boom of the 70's, this small village became a major attraction because of its famed white sand beaches, the surf, and stunning sunsets.
today, kuta is a major hustling and bustling resort town, with hundreds of hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. those in search of a little peace and quiet tend to head for the more sedate resorts of sanur and candi dasa, on the east coast, or lovina in the north. another major resort on the southern-most peninsula of the island, nusa dua, caters for the more up-market crowd, and is home to almost all of the bigger 5-star hotels, as well as one of bali's golf courses, the bali golf & country club. the central village of ubud, in the hilly region of gianyar, bas also recently blossomed as a tourist attraction and is now considered to be the artistic and cultural center of bali.
the distinctively flavoured compounds are found in the fruit, which results from the pollination of the flower. one flower produces one fruit. vanilla planifolia flowers are hermaphroditic: they carry both male (anther) and female (stigma) organs; however, to avoid self-pollenization, a membrane separates those organs. such flowers may only be naturally pollinated by a specifically equipped bee found in mexico. growers have tried to bring this bee into other growing locales, to no avail. the only way to produce fruits is thus artificial pollination.
a simple and efficient artificial pollination method was introduced in 1841 by a 12 year-old slave named edmond albius on r�union: a method still used today. using a beveled sliver of bamboo an agricultural worker folds back the membrane separating the anther and the stigma, then presses the anther on the stigma. the flower is then self-pollinated, and will produce a fruit. the vanilla flower lasts about one day, sometimes less, thus growers have to inspect their plantations every day for open flowers, a labour-intensive task.
the fruit (a seed pod), if left on the plant, will ripen and open at the end; it will then release the distinctive vanilla smell. the fruit contains tiny, flavourless seeds. in dishes prepared with whole natural vanilla, these seeds are recognizable as black specks.
like other orchids' seeds, vanilla seed will not germinate without the presence of certain mycorrhizal fungi. instead, growers reproduce the plant by cutting: they remove sections of the vine with six or more leaf nodes, a root opposite each leaf. the two lower leaves are removed, and this area is buried in loose soil at the base of a support. the remaining upper roots will cling to the support, and often grow down into the soil. growth is rapid under good conditions.
the first to cultivate vanilla were the totonac people, who inhabit the mazantla valley on the gulf coast of mexico near present-day vera cruz. according to totonaca mythology, the tropical orchid was born when princess xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. the lovers were captured and beheaded. where their blood touched the ground, the vine of the tropical orchid grew.
in the fifteenth century, aztecs from the central highlands of mexico conquered the totonac, and the conquerors soon developed a taste for the vanilla bean. they named the bean tlilxochitl, or "black flower," after the mature bean, which shrivels and turns black shortly after it is picked. whereas most tribes paid tribute to the aztecs in the form of maize or gold, the totonaca sent vanilla beans to the aztec kings.
spanish explorers who arrived on the gulf coast of mexico in the early sixteenth century gave vanilla its name. they called it vainilla, or "little pod," the word vanilla entered the english language in the 1754, when the botanist philip miller wrote about the genus in his gardener's dictionary.
until the mid-19th century, mexico was the chief producer of vanilla. in 1819, however, french entrepreneurs shipped vanilla beans to the r�union and mauritius islands with the hope producing vanilla there. after edmond albius, a 12-year-old slave from r�union island, discovered how to pollinate the flowers quickly by hand, the pods began to thrive. soon the tropical orchids were sent from r�union island to the comoros islands and madagascar along with instructions for pollinating them. by 1898, madagascar, r�union, and the comoros islands produced 200 metric tons of vanilla beans, about 80 percent of world production.
the market price of vanilla rose dramatically in the late 1970s, due to a typhoon. prices stayed stable at this level through the early 1980s despite the pressure of recently introduced indonesian vanilla. in the mid 1980s, the cartel that had controlled vanilla prices and distribution since its creation in 1930 disbanded. prices dropped 70 percent over the next few years, to nearly $20 usd per kilo. this changed, due to typhoon huddah, which struck early in the year 2000. the typhoon, political instability, and poor weather in the third year drove vanilla prices to an astonishing $500 usd per kilo in 2004, bringing new countries into the vanilla industry. a good crop, coupled with decreased demand caused by the production of imitation vanilla, have pushed the market price down to the $40 per kilo range in the middle of 2005.
madagascar (mostly the fertile region of sava) accounts for half of the global production of vanilla. mexico, once the leading producer of natural vanilla with an annual 500 tons, produced only 10 tons of vanilla in 2006. an estimated 95% of "vanilla" products actually contain artificial vanillin, produced from lignin and cow manure.
chemical structure of vanillin
main article: vanillin
though there are many compounds present in the extracts of vanilla, the compound vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) is primarily responsible for the characteristic flavour and smell of vanilla. another minor component of vanilla essential oil is piperonal (heliotropin). piperonal and other substances affect the odour of natural vanilla.
vanilla essence comes in two forms. real seedpod extract is an extremely complicated mixture of several hundred different compounds. synthetic essence, consisting basically of a solution of synthetic vanillin in ethanol, is derived from phenol and is of high purity.
stages of production
a vanilla plantation in a wood on r�union island
the pods are harvested while green and immature. at this stage, they are odourless.
the vegetative tissue of the vanilla pod is killed to prevent further growing. the method of killing varies, but may be accomplished by sun killing, oven killing, hot water killing, killing by scratching, or killing by freezing.
the pods are held for 7 to 10 days under hot (45�-65�c or 115�-150�f) and humid conditions; pods are often placed into fabric covered boxes immediately after boiling. this allows enzymes to process the compounds in the pods into vanillin and other compounds important to the final vanilla flavour.
to prevent rotting and to lock the aroma in the pods, the pods are dried. often, pods are laid out in the sun during the mornings and returned to their boxes in the afternoons. when 25-30% of the pods' weight is moisture (as opposed to the 60-70% they began drying with) they have completed the curing process and will exhibit their fullest aromatic qualities.
once fully cured, the vanilla is sorted by quality and graded.
there are three main commercial preparations of natural vanilla:
powder (ground pods, kept pure or blended with sugar, starch or other ingredients)
extract (in alcoholic solution)
vanilla flavouring in food may be achieved by adding vanilla extract or by cooking vanilla pods in the liquid preparation. a stronger aroma may be attained if the pods are split in two, exposing more of the pod's surface area to the liquid. in this case, the pods' seeds are mixed into the preparation. natural vanilla gives a brown or yellow colour to preparations, depending on the concentration.
vanilla output in 2005
good quality vanilla has a strong aromatic flavour, but food with small amounts of low quality vanilla or artificial vanilla-like flavourings are far more common, since true vanilla is much more expensive.
a major use of vanilla is in flavouring ice cream. the most common flavour of ice cream is vanilla, and thus most people consider it to be the "default" flavour. by analogy, the term "vanilla" is used as a synonym for "plain".
the cosmetics industry uses vanilla to make perfume.
in old medicinal literature, vanilla is described as an aphrodisiac and a remedy for fevers. these purported uses have never been scientifically proven, but it has been shown that vanilla does increase levels of catecholamines (including epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline), and as such can also be considered mildly addictive.
the essential oils of vanilla and vanillin are sometimes used in aromatherapy.
the food industry uses methyl and ethyl vanillin. ethyl vanillin is more expensive, but has a stronger note. cook's illustrated ran several taste tests pitting vanilla against vanillin in baked goods and other applications, and to the consternation of the magazine editors, all tasters preferred the flavour of vanillin to vanilla.
specific types of vanilla
bourbon vanilla or bourbon-madagascar vanilla, produced from vanilla planifolia plants introduced from the americas, is the term used for vanilla from indian ocean islands such as madagascar, the comoros, and r�union, formerly the �le bourbon.
mexican vanilla, made from the native vanilla planifolia, is produced in much less quantity and marketed as the vanilla from the land of its origin. vanilla sold in tourist markets around mexico is sometimes not actual vanilla extract, but is mixed with an extract of the tonka bean, which contains coumarin. tonka bean extract smells and tastes like vanilla, but coumarin has been shown to cause liver damage in lab animals and is banned in the us by the food and drug administration.
tahitian vanilla is the name for vanilla from french polynesia, made with vanilla tahitiensis.
the term french vanilla is not a type of vanilla, but is often used to designate preparations that have a strong vanilla aroma, and contain vanilla grains. the name originates from the french style of making ice cream custard base with vanilla pods, cream, and egg yolks.
french vanilla is commonly misrepresented in coffee shops as a flavour of syrup, however it is not possible to recreate a true french vanilla flavour in coffee. therefore flavours that are referred to as "french vanilla" in cafes do not create a french vanilla flavour in any form, although this is a wide-reaching misconception in certain cafe cultures. barnie's coffee & tea company creates their "french vanilla" by combining vanilla and praline flavours, whereas starbucks coffee company does not currently offer "french vanilla" flavour.
trade of vanilla evolves around the issue of quality. it is the key feature for the trade of this commodity. although no particular dispute regarding vanilla have been raised in the framework of most multi-lateral organizations, an emerging trend of using alternative products to natural vanilla foreshadows potential disputes. indeed, there is an increasing use in developed countries of synthetic vanilla, also known as "vanillin." if developing countries are being treated differently from most of the world trade organization (wto) members on the agriculture agenda, trade of commodities such as vanilla, which are vital to the economies of developing nations, should have a special provision that would guarantee their quality. in absence of specific regulations, this could have serious consequences on vanilla producers in the future. as one analysis concludes, "despite regulations which currently restrict replacement by synthetic products, biotechnology is also threatening all or part of the world vanilla market - assuming that legislation concerning the use of the word "vanilla" develops and consumers are prepared to accept the new products proposed." a legal issue might arise within the current framework of the wto, particularly under the agriculture negotiations.
according to experts, vanilla is from the orchid family spice and is known as vanilla planifolia. it is the only edible fruit of that family and is the largest family of flowering plants in the world. there are only two types of vanilla, bourbon and tahitian, which are used commercially.
bourbon vanilla is named after the islands in the western indian ocean comprised of reunion, mauritius, madagascar, and the comoros. bourbon (why bourbon?) vanilla and mexican vanilla have basically the same features but differ in quality.
vanilla originated from mexico. until the late 19th century, mexico had the monopoly on growing vanilla, but now madagascar and indonesia grow the majority of the world's crop.
other sources contend that the explorer cortez of spain discovered the vanilla bean in mexico and brought it back to spain. its use spread throughout europe from there. in 1873 the vanilla plant was introduced to madagascar (how?). madagascar and indonesia are now the world's leading producers of vanilla beans.
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other countries that grow vanilla include guatemala, costa rica, uganda, china, india, papua new guinea, tonga, fiji, tahiti, and the philippines (how did it get there?).
vanilla is the world's most labor-intensive agricultural crop, which is why it's so expensive. it will take up to three years after the vines are planted before the first flowers appear. the fruits, which resemble big green beans, must remain on the vine for nine months in order to completely develop their signature aroma. however, when the beans are harvested, they have neither flavor nor fragrance. they develop these distinctive properties during the curing process (sources: vanilla.com and others).
according to the european union, madagascar received rural development assistance from the european union supporting vanilla farmers, from plantation to supermarket from 1997 to 2002. it has resulted in vanilla production and export becoming once again a pillar of the malagasy economy in 2002. previously the world's leading exporter of vanilla, madagascar had over the course of the 1980s and early 1990s lost its competitive edge, with a corresponding slump in export earnings. the ec-funded program, started in 1998, assists both growers and the entire supply chain - from processors to distributors and exporters. the program has helped transform the fortunes of the malagasy vanilla industry from its nadir in the mid-1990s, with significant benefits for vanilla-producing communities and the economic performance of the country as a whole