Where does vanilla flavouring come from and why is it related to beavers?11/11/2020
The latest TikTok to blow people’s minds is all about beaver’s anuses and vanilla. Was that on your 2020 bingo card?
In a video posted to the platform by Sloowmoee, you’re asked to ‘record youself before and after googling “where does vanilla flavouring come from”‘.
If that’s why you’ve found yourself here, you probably want to know why Sloowmoee was so shocked – and why he vowed never to drink another vanilla latte in all his days.
It’s all to do with beaver’s anal secretions. But, try not to jump the gun, you can probably still enjoy your ice creams and beverages without fear.
Certain vanilla tastes we have aren’t straight from vanilla beans and pods – partly because they’re expensive.
Instead, some companies have previously used something called castoreum, which comes from a beaver’s castor sacs – right between the base of their tail and their pelvis.
At one point, the demand for castoreum became so high that it nearly wiped out the world’s beaver population (as the beaver would often need to be killed to extract the thick, yellow substance).
@shaylanmarieee TRIED TO MORDOR ME
Thankfully your panna cottas and Viennettas are probably beaver-free.
According to Robert Chilcott from the University of Hertfordshire: ‘Fortunately, German chemists discovered that vanillin (one of the chemicals responsible for the taste of vanilla) could be extracted from the humble conifer.
‘Today, synthetic vanillin accounts for about 94% of all vanilla flavouring used in the food industry (37,286 tons), with natural vanilla extract accounting for most of the remaining 6%.
‘Beavers can heave a sigh of relief. Their contribution to the food industry now accounts for a tiny fraction of natural vanilla flavouring and tends to be limited to luxury foods and beverages.’
Among those items is something called Bäverhojt, which is a Swedish drink that normally has the full castor sac infusing in the bottle.
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