Vanilla Extract. Featuring premium vanilla flavor, this extract can be used to enhance just about anything -- from your favorite baked goods like cookies, pies and cakes to … Vanilla extract is the purest form of the vanilla flavoring, having been extracted directly from the vanilla beans using alcohol and water. A bit confusing, yes, but here are the details. A lot of food enthusiasts have expressed favors on this pure vanilla flavoring due to its strong and long-lasting aroma. In fact, you may have to use twice as much imitation Imitation vanilla flavor (aka vanilla flavor) scores its vanilla-like flavor from vanillin, a naturally occurring chemical compound in real vanilla beans. Sugar or corn syrup can still be added to pure vanilla extract to bulk up the bottle. While this alone might not give pause to some, bakers should take caution when using imitation vanilla as the flavor tends to bake away in the oven more easily than true vanilla. However, read the label closely. Imitation vanilla extracts have a disappointingly simple flavor profile and leave much to be desired in … In the supermarket you can find imitation vanilla flavoring for less money. As its name implies, this is a preparation of the vanilla plant which draws out its flavor by soaking vanilla pods in a solution containing both alcohol and water. Even more “complex” imitation vanilla flavors will only boast five or six flavoring components and cannot possibly compete with the natural sophistication of pure vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract: Any vanilla product that’s named “pure” contains vanillin that’s derived from real vanilla beans. Less than one percent of the world’s vanilla flavor comes from actual vanilla orchids these days. Made with the highest quality ingredients, McCormick Premium Imitation Vanilla Extract is a staple for flavoring a variety of baked goods. This factor draws a definitive line between pure extract and imitation vanilla, but it relates only to the vanilla flavor and doesn't necessarily mean that nothing other than vanilla beans contributed to the overall product. Obviously the imitation is meant to be as close to the real thing as possible, but: Is there a detectable difference between imitation vanilla and vanilla extract? Imitation vanilla extract: Read closely for “imitation… And the latter is more popular than you might think. When baking or using vanilla, most recipes call for vanilla extract. Unless the bottle specifies, vanilla extract is usually made from a blend of beans from Mexico and Madagascar, and maintains a specific strength in accordance with the Federal Standard of Identity . If the extract is made from vanilla oleoresin, concentrated vanilla extract, or concentrated vanilla flavoring, the label must say "made from" or "made in part from" those particular ingredients. That same vanillin flavor can be made without any real vanilla beans, so it's much more affordable (around $0.10 to $0.30 per ounce). Over time, the alcohol absorbs the flavor compounds of the vanilla beans and preserves them, leaving the extract highly flavorful and shelf-stable. And vanillin is used to make imitation vanilla. Imitation Vanilla Extract – the “vanilla” flavor in imitation extract is derived from vanillin, which can be natural sourced or artificially created. But in imitation vanilla, it’s not derived from vanilla beans, but rather it’s synthesized in a lab. By FDA definition, a "pure" extract means that the vanilla flavor can only come from vanilla beans and nothing else. (Nielson-Massey products boast over 300 distinctive flavor compounds, while the Cook’s Illustrated review mentions a typical amount is 250). The other day I was at Trader Joe's I picked up what I thought was vanilla extract, and when I came home I saw it is actually called "Pure Vanilla Flavor."