Frequently asked Questions (FAQ's)
Why don't you offer organic versions of the Vanilla Bean Paste and and Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor?
A: The New Guinea Singing Dog is a dog native to Papua New Guinea that does not bark. It prefers to “sing” somewhat like a whale. It is related to the Australian dingo. Find out more about these fascinating animals at the New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society website by clicking here.
A: No, Bourbon refers to the region (Madagascar, Reunion Island, etc.) in which the vanilla is grown and has no relationship with the alcohol by the same name. Many people use the word Bourbon to refer to the Planifolia species of plant that is most prevalent in Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. The name Bourbon refers to the French Bourbons who ruled Madagascar at the time of the first vanilla cultivation there.
A. Please see our allergen statement by clicking here. Our pure vanilla extracts are gluten free and sugar free. The alcohol in our organic pure vanilla extract is derived from sugar cane and the alcohol in our conventional extract is derived from corn. The process of making ethyl alcohol begins with yeast converting sugars into ethanol. This is followed by a distillation process in which only the ethanol is boiled off and then condensed into concentrated ethanol. This series of steps ensures that no matter what base material you start with the end result is pure ethanol with no sugar, yeast or corn proteins.
The glycerin in our Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor is derived from vegetable sources. It is commonly made from coconut or palm oil but the base ingredients can change. Glycerin is made from the fat present in the plant material and proteins are excluded during the manufacturing process so the final product contains essentially no plant proteins (only trace amounts are possible).
Since food allergies are an immune response to food proteins there is very low risk associated with these products and all of our products are gluten free. Of course, flavorings are generally used in such small amounts that the risk is further reduced but you should consult your doctor before making a decision if your allergy is severe.
A: The Tahitensis species of vanilla is generally called "Tahitian" since this species was first commercially grown on the South Pacific island of Tahiti. It is now grown in many other regions. We refer to our Tahitensis variety as "PNG Tahitian" to denote that it is grown in Papua New Guinea. Tahitensis vanilla beans are usually shorter, plumper, and contain a higher oil and water content than Planifolia beans. The skin is thinner, they contain fewer seeds, and the aroma is fruity and floral. They are often described as smelling like licorice, cherry, prunes, or wine. This type of vanilla is not as commonly used as the Planifolia (bourbon type) but some chefs seek it out for specific recipes that benefit from the floral notes of this vanilla type.
A: The FDA regulates what constitutes strength, or fold. Single fold means that 13.4 oz of vanilla pods are extracted into one gallon of alcohol. Only vanilla extracted in 35% alcohol is considered pure by the FDA. Double fold, triple fold, etc. refers to extracts using more vanilla pods. These stronger folds are generally used only by commercial food producers. All home recipes are designed for single fold and most bakers and chefs use single fold.
A: Because most of the vanilla extracts on the market contain more sugar, corn syrup or dextrose than vanilla. They do this to speed up the aging process that makes the vanilla taste more “mellow” with a minimized alcohol smell. We simply age our vanilla naturally to achieve the same result.
A: No, all of the alcohol will burn off in the oven. Alcohol evaporates at a much lower temperature than water does (173 F).
A: Yes! Use our store locator to find a retail outlet near you.
A: Yes, all of our vanilla beans and vanilla extract is gluten free. Most people with specific conditions such as Celiac disease (caused by an abnormal reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat) are concerned about the possible glutens that may be found in alcohol derived from wheat. Although it is fairly well understood that the distillation process by which alcohol is made would not carry the proteins (gliadin) and would thus not be a threat to gluten intolerant people, we have taken the extra precaution of using only corn-based alcohol in our conventional vanilla extracts and sugar cane based alcohol in our organic vanilla extracts. Singing Dog Vanilla™ products have also been reviewed and approved by the Feingold Association as being safe for consumption by people with Celiac disease. www.feingold.org/faq.php For more information about gluten click here
A: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract is approximately 4 grams
A: The glycerin in our Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor is derived from vegetable sources. Since corn is not the most efficient base material to make glycerin from it is unlikely to be used but the base ingredients can change. Glycerin is made from the fat present in the plant material and proteins are excluded during the manufacturing process so the final product contains essentially no plant proteins (only trace amounts are possible). Since food allergies are an immune response to food proteins there would be minimal allergen risk associated with this product.
Q: Why don't you offer organic versions of the Vanilla Bean Paste and and Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor?
A: There continues to be a global shortage on the vegetable glycerin used in our Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor. Similarly, it is difficult to find a consistent source for the gum tragacanth used in the Vanilla Bean Paste. We are monitoring the situation with these two ingredients and hope to be able to offer organic versions in the future.
A: Our Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Flavor is extracted in a vegetable based glycerin which serves the same purpose that alcohol does in a traditional extract. It cannot be called an "extract" because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that anything labeled as an extract must contain alcohol. The flavor comes exclusively from real vanilla beans with nothing else added. No alcohol is used in the manufacture of our alcohol free pure vanilla flavor
A:The plastic bottle we use for our larger size vanilla extracts is made from HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) which is FDA approved for food use. This material is known to be safe for repeated and continuous use and has the added benefit of being easily recyclable (Recycle symbol #2). There are many different types of plastic bottles and some of them are used because of their higher strength, which allows the bottle to be made with thinner walls so less plastic is used, or because they can be made in a variety of colors or more easily decorated. Recent research has questioned the safety of some of these materials due to leaching. The plastic we use has been the industry standard for decades because it has been shown to be safe and reliable for a wide variety of uses. It may not be the prettiest plastic bottle on the shelf but it has proven to be a safe choice.