Alternative Uses of Vanilla Extract

Nowadays, the usage of Vanilla extract is not limited to bakery items; it is also used for various home tasks and as a natural insect repellent.

Vanilla, one of America’s most popular flavors, evokes sentiments of warmth and comfort. Its flavor and scent appear to calm everyone, even newborns. Simply inhaling a whiff of pure vanilla extract can induce bliss in the olfactory system. Moreover, the vanilla bean was previously thought to be a strong aphrodisiac by the Aztecs and Europeans.

To add a sweet flavor to bakery items and dairy products, vanilla has been used for years. Though vanilla is known for its distinct flavor, it can also be used to enhance other flavors, such as fruit flavors, salad dressings, and meat sauces. You can even make Vanilla Extract at home. 

Because no other flavor can match the scent of vanilla extract, it is the most popular flavored extract. The vanilla extract sure has a use in your pastries, but it can also be used in various other ways around the house.

Vanilla extract is a natural bug repellent and its wonderful scent is ideal for removing smells. There are numerous other applications for it. We have prepared a list of things you can do using vanilla extract. But first, let’s learn a little bit more about this extract.

New Uses of Vanilla

Vanilla, like salt and pepper, is used as an ingredient in many foods in culinology, the combining of culinary arts and food technology. Chefs in elite restaurants use vanilla in non-traditional seafood, vegetable, and meat dishes as part of an emerging culinology trend. Whereas vanilla’s original use was limited to desserts, culinology incorporates it into main courses. Vanilla is a versatile taste that can be utilized to enhance different cuisines. 

A splash of vanilla is required in dishes such as butternut squash soup, sweet potato, yam, turnip, and many others. Chefs have been hired by flavor corporations in recent years to experiment with new flavor combinations and applications, including vanilla. Vanilla appears to be a good complement to a variety of fruit-flavored ice creams, beverages, baked products, and other items. Artificial vanilla ice cream is disappearing from many stores due to health awareness, as well as price and availability. This trend does not appear to be reversible.

Back to Home Cooking: Vanilla Proliferation in Retail Stores

Vanilla beans and extracts are widely available at retail outlets. Around 200 distinct vanilla brands, including shop brands, are available. Supermarkets, most health food stores, gourmet stores, department stores, budget stores, and art supply stores carry it. The customers primarily look for vanilla to use in their own kitchens. In recent years, vanilla beans have become more inexpensive and plentiful. This trend has boosted consumption and spawned new uses.

Use of Vanilla in Nutraceuticals

Vanilla has become a significant player in the world of nutraceuticals and food supplements. A broad spectrum of herbal antioxidants, including vanilla, is used in an antioxidant drink for nutritional supplements. Vanilla is an excellent antioxidant, according to a large body of research that also shows the antioxidant effectiveness of diverse vanilla components. Vanilla can be used as an antioxidant as well as a flavoring agent in nutraceuticals. The vanilla flavor is found in the majority of sports drinks, and it combines and mellows the taste of a broad number of substances.

It also gives “energy drinks” with many new and unknown ingredients and fruit juices a sense of comfort and safety. The use of vanilla as a natural preservative in food preparations is another benefit. Vanilla extract is commonly used in health clubs where energy or protein beverages are freshly prepared.

Vanilla as a Flavor Promoter and Appetite Enhancer

Nutritional needs have received a lot of attention as the senior population has grown. Several studies have found that the old or unwell do not eat because they dislike the flavor of the foods offered to them. Vanilla is employed as an appetite stimulant in many supplements, a comprehensive and balanced food preparation for these consumer groups, and is the most popular taste after chocolate, owing to familiarity and a sense of security.

Personal Care with Vanilla (facial cream, oral care)

In recent years, anti-aging lotions have included the phrase “made with real vanilla” in the ingredient list. From foot care to expensive face scrub, ground vanilla beans and vanilla seeds (called ‘specs’ in food goods, usually ice cream) can be seen as foliated particles with pomegranate and berries. The vanilla seeds offer no aroma, but the ground beans have a dual impact, providing both aroma and scouring particles.

Vanilla will bring familiarity and tenderness to these goods, given the increasing preference for organic products and the usage of food ingredients for cosmetics and personal care. Vanilla will fit right in because of its powerful antioxidant efficacy in an era when antioxidants are widely used.

Around 300 natural compounds are found in vanilla beans, many of which have biological properties, such as anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, UV protection, and others. Polyphenols, unique lipids, and organic acids are examples of these molecules. As a result, it’s not surprising that vanilla is used in cosmetics. Sun-blocking chemicals are known as phenols.

Green vanilla beans are high in proteases (protein-degrading enzymes) and can be utilized as skin peeling agents. Vanilla blossoms and aerial roots are known for accumulating various natural compounds with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammation, and antioxidant characteristics. Antimicrobial and antifungal compounds are abundant in green bean tissue. Aerial roots contain many phenolic chemicals that could be used in different applications. As a result, different parts of the vanilla plant could be investigated for novel and useful products.

Lipids are another important family of constituents, comprising around 5% of the dry weight of vanilla beans. Vanilla tahitensis from Papua New Guinea contains a particularly large percentage of lipids. These lipids are mostly phospholipids, which have great functional value in creams and emulsions. Analyses revealed that natural lipids from the vanilla species contain long-chain γ-pyrone compounds with special configurations. The metabolic function or practical value of these lipids is not known. Vanilla is also rich in hydrocarbons comprising a large family of alkanes and branched alkanes. Though, to identify the biological function, further investigations and research are needed.  To make personal care items such as lotions, shampoo, cream, and face wash, vanilla lipids are used. 

Vanilla has been used for some time in mouthwash formulation, usually with other extracts. Examples include ACT – Restoring Mouthwash Vanilla Mint and Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash Vanilla Mint.

Household Assistance

Vanilla is used as a natural ingredient in many household items. It is also used as a stand-alone fragrance or in conjunction with other natural scents. These are instances of large-scale products. However, there are many more examples of things made by small and medium-sized businesses. These products reflect the ongoing trend for ‘natural and ‘organic,’ which appeals to consumers’ sense of comfort and familiarity, especially during difficult economic times.

Fragrances with Vanilla

According to a database of 10,000 perfumes, vanilla is used in 50 percent of them in some form. Vanilla’s popularity in perfumes can be due to the fact that it can trigger childhood memories while also providing a soothing effect. For over two hundred years, vanilla and vanilla compounds have been utilized in fragrances. Vanilla is widely utilized in fragrances because it possesses warm, sweet, aromatic, and pleasant characteristics that leave a calming impact. Shalimar, a gorgeous oriental combination, is one of the most well-known vanilla perfumes.

Vanilla has always been a popular flavor. Vanilla’s popularity will continue to rise, thanks to new trends of organic products and health consciousness. Vanilla is now being utilized in main courses rather than only sweets, thanks to advances in culinology. Another cause for new vanilla uses is the economic slump, as people revert to home cooking and familiar comfort meals, which include more vanilla. Vanilla is the only flavor with its own set of standards. It specifies how it is made and labeled. 169.175, 21 CFR. We will continue to see many uses of vanilla as long as it remains affordable.