Where does organic vanilla come from?
Much of the world's vanilla powder is originated from the Bourbon Islands just off the coast of Madagascar. A member of the orchid family, the vanilla flower is the only one of 350 species of orchids to produce an edible product. The first harvest of the vine does not occur for at least 3 years, giving a maximum harvest only after a long 8 years - making vanilla the most labour intensive agricultural product in the world.
When the flower on the vine blossoms, it must be hand-pollinated during a 24-48 hour period in which it blooms, this is why the vines must be checked every day to ensure this pollination opportunity is not missed. Once pollinated it takes 4-9 months for the vanilla pods to mature. Then they are picked just as their colour changes from green to yellow.
The beans are hung in curing sheds to lose some initial moisture, they then spend 2-3 months being spread in the sunshine during the day and packed into cooling boxes at night. This maintains just the right amount of enzymatic reaction to produce the desired colour and flavour.
As well as tasting delicious there are many health benefits derived from organic vanilla powder.
Health benefits of organic vanilla
Vanilla is a good source of anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Natural vanilla contains numerous antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin which decrease risks of inflammation and protect your body from the damage of harmful components, such as free radicals and toxins.
Vanilla contains an array of essential vitamins and minerals including the B-complex, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
The climbing price of real vanilla beans
Virtually all vanilla beans are grown in third world countries. As farmers quite simply cannot afford pesticides or fertilisers, an unintended consequence is that most of the farms are therefore organic - giving consumers assurance to the quality of the bean.
Due to the labour intensive nature of production, the cost of organic vanilla powder is far from cheap however the aromatic and nutritional upside is totally worth it. When blended with our quality whey and plant protein the result is one of the cleanest, nutritious sources of protein powder that blends exceptionally in almost any healthy recipe.