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Why we should stay away from Vanillin!


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Hi All,

As the next wave of candy-filled holidays approach I want to send off a warning about vanillin. Do not be fooled by this imitation impostor!


One would think that an expensive chocolate would use only the best

ingredients - especially when they say so themselves. Don't, however, be

taken in by price. One of our members wrote to the prestigious Godiva

Chocolatiers to ask about their Easter Eggs. The company answered that

among other ingredients, their Easter Egg chocolates contain vanillin - an

extremely cheap artificial vanilla flavoring.


While real vanilla extract is made from the vanilla bean, Vanillin is a mixture of

several hundred different compounds in addition to vanillin, the artificial

flavoring is methyl vanillin or ethyl vanillin. It is made from Guaiacol,

which is an aromatic chemical made from wood creosote (present in smoke from

burning wood), from petroleum, or from lignin-containing waste products of

the paper pulp industry. Thus, the artificial flavoring has a much higher

percentage of a single chemical compound, as well as unknown contaminants

resulting from its source.


Whether the reactions seen by our members to the artificial vanillin is due

to the concentration of a single chemical in the flavoring, to the

contaminants, or to something else entirely, is unknown. Artificial

vanillin has also been shown in research to suppress certain liver enzymes

(Bamforth 1993), and according to Aoshima, 1997, it inhibits the GABA

receptor response, suggesting that it could modulate the neural transmission

in the brain.


The bottom line? When it comes to chocolate, don't confuse price with



* I am a member of the Feingold Organization and this is a small section of my latest newsletter.

Always look for real vanilla in anything you buy! And if you are dealing with a corn allergy, I hate to break it to you, but even real vanilla can be a problem. We use it in our baked goods w/o a problem, but many corn allergy sufferers cannot. The alcohol in commercial vanilla is derived from corn. Real vanilla beans is just fine though, if you want to add that to your drinks and ice creams, etc..... (we do that ourselves).

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