Vanilla Bean: History, Origins and Uses
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Published: Tue, 15 May 2018
Vanilla Bean come from the Vanilla Orchid Plant, it is a kind of rare natural plant species. The best producing area is Africa island of Madagascar, One of the easier to grow indoor orchids. They look like green beans when they’re ripe and after picking need to be dried and fermented for their rich flavour to develop. It’s a fairly complicated and lengthy process, which is why the price is so high. Vanilla beans only grow in tropical climates. Vanilla bean has elegant full-bodied milk sweet fragrance, widely used in high-grade food processing, such as: ice cream, cake, milk, sweet drinks, tea, wine, meat processing and puffed food. Vanilla bean is the second most expensive spice then saffron of the world. (1 ServoLux, 2007)
Vanilla plan folia are indigenous to Mexico and may have been used up to 1000 years ago by the Totonac tribe as a flavoring. The Totonacas still grow vines with almost religious devotion because to them it was the gift of the gods. It is not uncommon to have a few vines growing around their houses. These are watered every day as if they were the Tontonacas most valuable possession. The vanilla beans were used as a tribute to the Emperor of the Aztecs.
In 1518 the Spanish Conquistador, Herman Cortez, met with Emperor Montezuma while seeking treasures of the New World. He observed that the Emperor enjoyed a royal beverage of vanilla scented chocolate; Cortez was so impressed by this regal drink that when he returned to Europe, he took bags of cocoa and vanilla along with the gold, silver and jewels of Montezuma’s fallen empire. Within half a century, Spanish factories were preparing vanilla-flavored chocolate. For quite some time the Europeans continued to use vanilla only in combination with the cocoa bean.
By 1602 vanilla began to be used as a flavoring on its own – the suggestion of Queen Elizabeth’s apothecary, Hugh Morgan. From then vanilla soared in popularity and became more famous than chocolate or any other flavor known before or since. For more than 300 years after its discovery by Cortez, vanilla was produced only in its native Mexico.
Plants were tried in many countries but the orchids never bore fruit. The mystery was not solved until 1836 when a Belgian named Charles Morran found that common insects could not pollinate the orchid. He observed that a tiny bee, which is found only in the Vanilla districts of Mexico, is uniquely equipped to pollinate the flowers. The bee did not survive outside Mexico and so Morren developed a method of hand-pollinating the Vanilla blossoms.
Soon after this discovery, the French started to cultivate Vanilla on many of their islands in the Indian Ocean, East and West Indies and Oceania; the Dutch planted it in Indonesia; and the British took it to southern India. Eventually the French took Vanilla to Reunion, an island off Madagascar. There a former slave named Edmond Albinus perfected a quick and simple method of hand-pollination which is still used to this day. (2 ServoLux, 2007)
Traditionally, Vanilla requires warm and moist conditions with well distributed rainfall of 150 to 300 cm with a temperature range of 25 to 32oC. It comes up well from sea level to around 1500M above mean sea level. The crop requires more than 50% shade and thrives best under filtered light. Vanilla comes up well in loose and friable soil with very high organic matter content and of loamy texture. It prefers land with gentle slope and well-drained soils. (3 ORCHIDSASIA, 2009)
Originating in Central America, the main distribution about, Mexico, Madagascar, and Indonesia tropical Marine areas, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and India also has a small amount of cultivation, China Fujian, Guangdong.
Madagascar – Madagascar is the biggest vanilla bean producer. Vanilla bean is growth in the island of Madagascar, Comoros and La Reunion. This area damp, belong to the high temperature, the rain is abundant, and the soil moisture, these conditions conducive to vanilla growth.
Indonesia – The second kind of growth in Indonesia, this area belongs to the tropical climate, the altitude of 1500 meters, the temperature in the 21 – 32, air humidity is in commonly 75%, suitable for vanilla growth.
China – In China’s Guangdong, Fujian have a small amount of vanilla growth, because in this area the region perennial temperature wet, rainwater enough, winter wet rain. Soil is weak acid suitable for vanilla growth.
Mexico – Mexico is hot and humid with climate; annual rainfall of 1500-3500 mm.Temperature is 20-30 between, Mexico region’s soil loose, good drainage, suitable for vanilla growth.
Propagation, Planting, Harvesting
The crop is usually established by planting in situ shoot cuttings each, preferably having 8 to 10 inters nodes as these flower earlier than the shorter cuttings. However, the cuttings with less than five to six inter nodes and 60 cm in length should not be used directly for planting. Such shorter cuttings properly rooted in the nursery, establish well in the field, compared to the stem-cuttings. Micro- propagated plants can also be used for planting. Vanilla is propagated mainly by shoot cuttings or rooted cuttings. Strong, healthy and actively growing vines are selected, cut into pieces of one meter long with three or four leaves removed from the bottom. The cuttings are kept in a shady place for one week. Alternatively, 3-4 nodded rooted cuttings are also used for planting.
For optimum growth of these plants, a controlled environment is created by establishing suitable green-house/ shade net house which provides the appropriate amount of light, temperature and humidity which are essential for commercial production of vanilla. High-density polyethylene net providing 50-60% shade can be supported with stone pillars of 12′ height to provide the required shade. Micro-sprinklers with both irrigation and misting/ fogging facility need to be installed in the shade house, which will ensure the irrigation as well as humidity requirements.
Vanilla is planted in a medium rich in organic matter. Decomposed organic manure is filled in the trenches made at a spacing of 8′. In these trenches, support pillars of 7′ long will be placed at a spacing of 6′, and two cuttings each, will be planted around one support pole. The plant density per acre thus works out to 2400.
The main source of nutrients for the crop is from organic sources viz., decomposed leaf mould or dry. A thick layer of organic debris also helps to retain enough moisture and gives a loose soil structure for the roots to spread. Hence, it is important that easily decomposable organic matter is applied around the plant base at least 3-4 times in a year.
The flowering commences from the 3rd year after planting, during January – February months. After pollination and fertilization, the beans develop very quickly and obtain full size in about 5-6 weeks. The beans are harvested when the distal end turns pale yellow in color. The aroma and flavor develops only after the curing process. The aroma and flavor develops only after the curing process. The different stages of curing include Killing, Sweating Drying and Conditioning. (5 ORCHIDSASIA, 2009)
Types of vanilla
Madagascar Bourbon (plan) is the most common been used in extracts. Bourbon beans from Madagascar and the Comoros are described as having a creamy, hay-like, and sweet aroma, with strong vanillin overtones. The bourbon-Madagascar bean is sweet, long and slender and has a rich, full flavor and oily skin. (6 ServoLux, 2007)
Mexican vanilla beans, also plan, are very similar to Madagascar beans though they have a mellower, smooth quality and a spicy, woody fragrance. Dark chocolate, dairy desserts, beverages, poultry and meat are complemented by Mexican vanilla. The Mexican bean has a smooth, rich flavor and spicy aroma.
Madagascar and Mexican vanillas both provide the familiar natural vanillin flavor that we associate with vanilla ice cream and other vanilla-flavored desserts and beverages. They are the gold standard of the vanilla market. (7 ServoLux, 2007)
Tahitian vanilla beans (vanilla tahitensis) originate from plan stock that was taken to Tahiti, where it mutated in the wild. It is now classified as a separate species (Vanilla tahitensis) as it is considerably different in appearance and flavor from Plan vanilla. The beans are often described as smelling like licorice, cherries, prunes, or red wine. Tahitian beans offer a more floral fruity flavor most suitable in savory and fruit dishes. The Tahitian bean is thick, dark and has a thinner skin and fewer seeds compared to the other beans; plus, it has a higher oil and water content. (8 ServoLux, 2007)
In the history, the Spanish people think vanilla is a stimulant; the Indians call it god’s fruit. The Aztecs use it as a currency. In the past eight hundred years vanilla this magic little pod life Mexico and Madagascar’s economy; Develop the Indian trade; Even consolidate strengthen the foundation of Madagascar, on the world map occupies a position; Vanilla is a kind of spices, is widely used in the world snacks and food. More than 19% of artificial spices contain vanilla composition.
(9 Patricia Rain, 2004)
Vanilla Bean is used spices in the world, people often use it in food for flavoring, and it is Luscious, warm, sexy and exotic. And it can be used in cake, pudding, milk, ice cream, coffee and tea. Vanilla Bean gives better flavor to these foods.
(10 Greenvanillastore 2012)
Vanilla can make into vanilla fragrance product, such as Candle, Body wash, Shampoo ,body perfume it has a lot of health care effect, can remove banned anxiety, relieve pressure, relaxation nerve, help sleep. Vanilla can also make soap, can have the effect of hairdressing, and maintains the skin to add on the fragrance. (11 vanillabazaar, 2012)
Vanilla contains 150-170 kinds of aroma components and 17 kinds of human body essential amino acids, which is can be tonifying kidney, appetizers, tonifying spleen, medical effect, it is a kind of natural nourishing medicine, is known as “the king of natural spices”( 12unknow,2010)
Totonca – Totonca is the first to discover the vanilla beans in the world, vanilla was a sacred herb that they incorporated into all levels of their lives. They use the Vanilla Bean to made garlands worn around the neck as a protective character, in order to prevent a variety of diseases. (13 the vanilla company, 2012)
Herman Cortez – In 1518 the Spanish Conquistador, Herman Cortez, met with Emperor Montezuma while seeking treasures of the New World. He observed that the emperor like royal beverage vanilla fragrance chocolate, Cortez left a very deep impression, when he returned to Europe; he took bags of cocoa and vanilla Montezuma Empire. For quite some time the Europeans continued to use vanilla only in combination with the cocoa bean. (14 ServoLux, 2007)
Hugh Morgan – he is the Queen Elizabeth’s apothecary, in 1602 he suggestion that vanilla can be used as a flavoring. From then vanilla soared in popularity and became more famous than chocolate or any other flavor known before or since. (15 ServoLux, 2007)
Carl Lai ham – in 1898, the United States north Carolina new Berne young pharmacist Carlã€‚Lai ham invented by a kola nut and vanilla seeds mix drink at first, it was used in the treatment of digestive, but when he mixed soda water in this drink, he found a delicious refreshing drinks then it is named vanilla cola, it was called Brads drinks. (16 unknow, 2010)
Natural Vanilla Flavor: a mix of pure vanilla and other natural substances other than the vanilla bean. It usually is made with a glycerin or a propylene glycol base. (17 ServoLux, 2007)
Vanilla-vanillin: a mix of pure vanilla extract and synthetic substances, most commonly vanillin. (18 ServoLux, 2007)
Vanilla powder: a mixture of ground vanilla beans and vanilla oleoresin combined with carbohydrate carriers and flow agents. It is not that kind of white chemical food, but the same color pod black or brown black powder, is a kind of natural vanilla bean into flour products. (17 vanillabazaar, 2012)
Vanilla cola: Carl Lai ham invented by a kola nut and vanilla seed mix drink at first, it was used in the treatment of digestive, but when he soda water with the mixed, he found a delicious refreshing drinks in was named vanilla cola before, it was called Brads drinks. (18 unknow, 2010)
Vanilla sugar: a product made from vanilla powder and sugar, it can be use for bake, add in some drink.
Vanilla extracts: it is made with vanilla beans and it is no sugarï¼Œ offer a fresh clean flavor to cuisine. (19 ServoLux, 2007)
Per 100 g Vanilla bean About 130 other compounds have been identified in vanilla extract. Vanillas also contain water (35%), sugars (25 %), fat (15 %), cellulose (15% to 30 %t) and minerals (6 %). (20 unknow, 2010)
the main distribution about, Mexico, Madagascar, and Indonesia tropical Marine areas, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and India also has a small amount of cultivation, China Fujian, Guangdong. In these countries (apart Mexico), Artificial pollination by hand is the rule for fruit setting. 85 to 100 per cent success is obtained by hand pollination. And the curing process needs more manual
Vanilla requires warm and moist conditions with well distributed rainfall of 150 to 300 cm with a temperature range of 25 to 32oC. And it requires more than 50% shade. Vanilla comes up well in loose and friable soil with very high organic matter content and of loamy texture. It prefers land with gentle slope and well-drained soils.
Vanilla bean processing need a curing process, in this process need use the oven, set oven 45-50 to curing it.
The vanilla bean growth in the warm and moist areas, and I believe that with progress of the era, vanilla bean maybe can planted in indoor, and harvest in different season.
Contemporary uses and applications
In the bakery, such as vanilla slice.
In the ice cream, such as vanilla ice cream.
In Sweet dessert, such as vanilla putting.
From the procession of such as vanilla milk, vanilla coke, vanilla powder, vanilla syrup.
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