madagascar vanilla source natural organic
A whole process

Vanilla

Vanilla is a fascinating plant native to Mexico that has been utilized for over 2000 years by the Mayans and Aztecs to sweeten and flavor their cocoa drink. In 1841, following the introduction of the orchid on the island of Bourbon (now known as Réunion), a young slave named Edmond Albius discovered the manual fertilization technique of the flower. By skillfully identifying the male and female organs of the flower, he successfully pollinated it with a wooden thorn. This process transformed the flower into a vanilla bean in a matter of days. This discovery played a significant role in the global expansion of vanilla as it allowed growers to produce more beans than ever before.

Close-up view of unsplit black gourmet vanilla beans madagascar
Vanilla plants in a Madagascar plantation
9 months

The plant and fertilization

Vanilla is a type of climbing plant belonging to the Orchid species and is typically found in Central America. The plant thrives in areas with sufficient shade, as direct sun exposure can harm the stems and leaves. The flowers grow in clusters and are manually pollinated using a needle or thorn. In order to limit the occurrence of diseases such as phytophthora and fusarium, a rich and well-drained soil is necessary for its growth.

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3 minutes

Scalding and parboiling

To properly prepare vanilla pods for use, it is important to follow a specific process. First, immerse the pods in water heated to approximately 60°C, allowing them to soften and become more pliable. After 24 hours, the pods will have undergone mortification and will possess a rich, chocolate-brown color. To complete the preparation, scalding the pods breaks down the vanillin precursor molecules, while steaming facilitates the transformation of glucovanillin to vanillin through the action of glucosidase. Following these steps will ensure that your vanilla pods are prepared optimally for your recipe needs.

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Close-up view of vanilla scalding process, showing vanilla pods being prepared madagascar
Vanilla beans spread out for sun drying madagascar
10 days

Sun drying

The process for drying vanilla pods is crucial in the development of its aromatic properties. The pods are carefully exposed to the morning sun for 3 to 5 hours daily for about 10 days. It is essential to turn them regularly to ensure even drying. The sun drying method initiates the breakdown of the vanillin compound into different constituents, resulting in the complex and pleasant fragrance of vanilla. This procedure guarantees a product of exceptional quality, and therefore an essential consideration for any producer of vanilla.

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3 minutes

Shade drying

The vanilla pods are carefully positioned on our racks within well-ventilated warehouses. Each day, they undergo thorough inspection and testing to ensure quality standards are met.

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Vanilla beans drying on wooden racks madagascar
Vanilla Fair team workers manufacturing vanilla in an unidentified craft workshop in Maroantsetra, Madagascar
Our Vanilla

Sorting

Our production process involves the meticulous categorization of vanilla pods according to their moisture level, color, and overall quality. We place particular focus on the moisture content of the pods since it greatly affects their texture and consistency. Pods with higher moisture content generally possess softer, more pliable consistency and a darker hue, whereas drier pods tend to have a reddish tint to their surface. Our expert team carries out a thorough inspection of each pod to ensure that only the best quality vanilla pods are selected. We take pride in our consistency in delivering premium quality vanilla products to our esteemed customers. Our commitment to maintaining the highest standards across our production process is unwavering, and we will continue to innovate and improve our processes to keep delivering excellence.

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3 months

Refining and grading

Following the sorting process, the vanilla pods are carefully placed in storage trunks to allow the aroma to mature and intensify. Regular quality checks are conducted each week to ensure that any potential defects are identified and addressed promptly. Once the quality has been verified, the pods are measured and sorted into uniform groups in preparation for marketing. At all stages of the process, great care is taken to ensure that the quality of the product is maintained to the highest possible standard.
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Process of refining vanilla beans in a box