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The painful process of pollinating vanilla.

The painful process of pollinating vanilla. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Every flower in a vanilla orchard must be hand pollinated on the one day of the year they are in bloom. Hand pollination is fiendishly difficult to get right. The technique was invented by a 12-year-old slave, Edmond Albius, on the island of Reunion in the 1840s. It involves carefully opening an orchid, folding back part of the flower with a smooth orange thorn, and delicately pressing the male and female parts of the flower together. If you press too hard or try to pollinate a few hours too early or late, you'll kill the orchid.

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La vanille bleue, l'épice rare qui fascine les chefs pâtissiers.

La vanille bleue, l'épice rare qui fascine les chefs pâtissiers. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

De la vanille bleue, mais quésaco ?

Contrairement à la bourbon, que l'on déshydrate une fois récoltée, la vanille bleue subit un à deux ans de séchage et de préparation, afin de préserver le potentiel maximal d’arôme de la gousse. Ainsi, sa pulpe continue d'évoluer et son arôme s'intensifie avec le temps. De ce fait, son goût et son parfum sont davantage prononcés.

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Why vanilla prices have been rising.

Why vanilla prices have been rising. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla prices have climbed so high it's worth more by weight than silver. This increase in price has to do with a number of factors, including vanilla bean theft, complex pollination, extreme weather, and the rise of the "all natural" food movement...

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La vanille bourbon, un patrimoine inestimable.

La vanille bourbon, un patrimoine inestimable. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

La vanille a été importée à la Réunion au début du XIXe siècle mais, stérile, elle a été cultivée pour son originalité et l'intérêt botanique qu'elle suscitait auprès des collectionneurs de végétaux rares. Quand un jeune esclave réunionnais de 12 ans, Edmond Albius, a découvert, en 1841, le procédé de fécondation manuel de la vanille, il a lié à jamais la culture de cette plante au destin de l'île.

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Vanilla could spice up Florida's agriculture.

Vanilla could spice up Florida's agriculture. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

In Florida citrus growers and former citrus growers are still reeling from citrus greening. In the tropical climes of South Florida, there are researchers trying to breed the state's next commercial crop. It could be vanilla...

Avocado trees, with their height and shady canopy, would be an ideal structure for vine-like vanilla plants to climb.

“Co-cropping” the vanilla with avocado, citrus or nut trees on existing farms would mean getting more use out of the same piece of land, a win-win for growers and the environment.

Compared to traditional monoculture, the dual system would have its challenges. Another option for growing vanilla in Florida is monoculture in shade houses. The simple and relatively inexpensive structures can sustain the right conditions for plants to thrive and enable more intensive production.

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Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar.

Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

How vanilla became one of the world's most expensive - and dangerous - ingredients.

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Campagne Vanille, un mauvais démarrage dans la Sava.

Campagne Vanille, un mauvais démarrage dans la Sava. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

L'ouverture de la campagne du 15 juillet dernier, déjà repoussée d’un mois pour la principale région productrice, la Sava, n’a pas tellement amélioré la donne. Le président de la plateforme régionale de concertation et de pilotage (PRCP) de la filière Vanille dans la région Sava, Tombo Tam raconte que depuis ces quatre jours, les prix de la vanille verte ne sont pas les mêmes dans la région. « À Sambava, les producteurs proposent deux cent mille ariary pour un kilo de vanille verte. Les acheteurs tablent à cent mille ariary. À Antsanganoro Antalaha, les cent mille ariary proposés par les producteurs sont négociés à 80 000 ariary. Dans beaucoup d’autres localités un peu éloignées, personne n’a encore rien vendu depuis dimanche », explique Tombo Tam.

Ce prix yoyo de la vanille non préparée, ainsi que les quelques marchés sporadiques ouverts jusqu’ici impacteraient fortement sur le prix de la vanille préparée. On peut s’attendre d’ici peu à ce que le prix du kilo à l’exportation atteigne alors la somme astronomique d’un million cinq cent mille ariary, soit entre 500 et 600 dollars. Cette éternelle envolée du prix de ce produit de rente inquiète au plus haut point les opérateurs.

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Madagascar: spéculations autour du prix de la vanille à l’approche de la récolte.

Madagascar: spéculations autour du prix de la vanille à l’approche de la récolte. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

A Madagascar, le prix de la vanille n'a cessé d'augmenter ces 5 dernières années, laissant déjà présager l'an passé une possible chute brutale des prix pour 2018. Cette année, les yeux des connaisseurs seront rivés sur la Sava, dans le nord-est de l'île. Cette région fournit 80% de la production mondiale de vanille. Rencontre avec les acteurs de la filière à quelques semaines du 15 juillet, date de l'ouverture officielle de la récolte de la gousse verte dans cette zone.

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Hot money, cold beer: Navigating the vanilla and rosewood export economies in northeastern Madagascar.

Hot money, cold beer: Navigating the vanilla and rosewood export economies in northeastern Madagascar. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Since 2000 northeastern Madagascar's subsistence‐based communities have registered record profits thanks to a boom in vanilla and rosewood exports. Yet, rather than saving or investing these returns, much of the local earnings were spent in “hot money” sprees on cold beer, gambling, and other forms of immediate consumption. Far from being illogical or unproductive, hot‐money spending and other practices associated with export economies help local communities navigate the volatility of global markets and domesticate foreign demands. Although these tactics come from the margins of global capitalism, they represent an acute cultural expression of some of the most sophisticated dynamics found at its core.

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Sava : polémiques sur la campagne de la vanille.

Sava : polémiques sur la campagne de la vanille. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

L’annonce conjointe du Groupement des préparateurs et acheteurs de vanilles de la Sava (GPAS) et des exportateurs de vanilles, fixant le début de la campagne officielle au 15 juillet, n’a pas recueilli l’unanimité au sein des producteurs de cette région.

 

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Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - May 2018.

Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - May 2018. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

We estimate that the 2017 crop in Madagascar produced somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500mt. Although the quality was improved over 2016, as the season progressed quality degraded considerably due mostly to immature beans combined with the vacuum packing of semi cured beans. Madagascar vanilla will never return to its former quality as long as the practice of vacuum packing semi cured beans is allowed. The 2018 crop looks to be in the same range as 2017 as far as quantity is concerned. Due to climatic conditions, flowering in the last part of 2017 was nowhere near as robust as originally expected.

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Vanille de Madagascar : quand la reine des épices suscite toutes les convoitises.

Vanille de Madagascar : quand la reine des épices suscite toutes les convoitises. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Les spécialistes ne cachent pas leur inquiétude face à cette filière en péril entre une forte demande, une qualité médiocre et une faible production. "Contrairement à la crise de 2003, qui avait duré quelques mois, celle-ci semble s’installer dans le temps", confie George Geeraerts. Depuis que le marché a été libéralisé en 1989, le prix de la vanille a toujours connu des hauts et des bas : 400 dollars le kilo en 2003, pour chuter à 30 dollars en 2005, prix auquel il s'est stabilisé pendant environ cinq ans. "Aujourd'hui, la filière est vraiment en danger", commente le président du GEVM.

Les acteurs de la filière vanille se sont mobilisés en créant une plateforme nationale de la vanille (PNV), chargée de redorer le blason de la reine des épices. Sa mission consiste à lancer une date officielle d’ouverture de récolte et d’améliorer la traçabilité de la production. "La multiplication des contrôles et des identifications des planteurs devrait permettre d’assainir la filière et de permettre de faire chuter la criminalité", commente le président du GEVM.

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Vanilla valuation: Food industry scrambles to find affordable solutions.

Vanilla valuation: Food industry scrambles to find affordable solutions. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla is used not only in vanilla-flavoured products, but plays a supporting role, adding creaminess to other flavours, such as chocolate, as well. "Eighty per cent of the market is industrial vanilla, and that's what drives the pricing," van der Walde says, director of Aust & Hachmann Canada. "It's the most important flavour in the food industry, by far.

Just before production dropped, he says, Nestlé, Unilever and General Foods – three companies that control about 80 per cent of the products on our supermarket shelves – decided they wanted their mainstream products to feature more natural ingredients. In place of artificial flavouring, they turned to real vanilla. "It was almost a perfect storm to create an environment for higher prices."

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Madagascar harvested 67,823 hectares and produced 2,926 tonnes of vanilla in 2016, compared with 14,104 hectares in Indonesia, 1,863 hectares in Papua New Guinea and just 979 hectares in Mexico. With so much of the world's vanilla coming from one place, other growing regions don't have the capacity to pick up the slack.

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How fortunes are being made and lost in Madagascar's vanilla boom.

How fortunes are being made and lost in Madagascar's vanilla boom. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla is big money in a nation that produces up to 80 per cent of the world's natural vanilla, but which hangs around the bottom of global poverty lists. On the streets of Madagascar's vanilla capital Sambava, fast-moving hustlers trade the bean like drugs.

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Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - November 2018.

Aust & Hachmann Vanilla Market Update - November 2018. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The 2018 vanilla campaign opened officially in Madagascar on October 15th tinged with both optimism (lower prices and vastly improved quality) and uncertainty (very slow and late flowering for 2019). There are now over 140 accredited exporters of vanilla in the country, with many capital hungry collectors trying to make the jump to exporter.  Most have scant experience in the preparation and export of vanilla and will most likely exit from the trade as the most recent crisis abates. Some will go on to become legitimate vanilla exporters. The crop size is expected to be between 1500 – 1700mt which is better than expected thanks to the crop maturity. 

Many buyers expected lower prices in 2018 and are holding back in the hopes this will materialize in the months ahead as unsold vanilla accumulates on the ground. Prices are still at historically very high levels and there is plenty of room on the downside. Three months ago, this may have been the correct strategy, however a very lackluster flowering season for 2019 thus far has changed sentiment on the ground in Madagascar. Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in flowering in the weeks ahead the demand for 2018 vanilla could increase considerably. Heavy rains in August, September and much of October have hampered the flowering. Lately there has been improvement but most regions are reporting far fewer flowers per vine than last year.

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Bronze Age people in Israel were the first known vanilla users.

Bronze Age people in Israel were the first known vanilla users. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Science News reports that evidence of the use of vanilla has been found in three jugs in a 3,600-year-old tomb in Israel. Archaeologist Vanessa Linares of Tel Aviv University said the Bronze Age jugs, unearthed near a palace and monumental city gate at the site of Megiddo, contained traces of two of the major chemical compounds in natural vanilla extract. Evidence of olive oil and other plant oils were also detected. Linares said vanilla-infused oils may have been added to foods and medicines, and may have been used in rituals and for embalming the dead. She thinks the vanilla, which comes from beans grown on vanilla orchids in East Africa, India, and Indonesia, arrived in the Middle East through trade.

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How Mauritius is turning vanilla around for re-export.

How Mauritius is turning vanilla around for re-export. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

While Mauritius is trying to expand on a limited vanilla production of its own, the majority is actually imported in its raw form from Madagascar

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The Journey of Vanilla: From Plant to Extract. .

Vanilla is, in truth, a mystical Mexican orchid that is so difficult to cultivate it's surprising anyone knows what it tastes like. Luckily for us, and for vanilla plants, the flavor is so good that much of the last 500 years have been dedicated to propagating and developing this tasty plant.

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Vols de vanille à Madagascar : producteurs, exportateurs et gendarmes se mobilisent.

Vols de vanille à Madagascar : producteurs, exportateurs et gendarmes se mobilisent. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

A Madagascar, premier producteur mondial de la vanille, à l'heure de la récolte dans les champs, la tension monte d'un cran chez les cultivateurs. Depuis trois ans, les cours de l'épice se sont envolés. Conséquence: les paysans sont de plus en plus victimes de vols...

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Pourquoi le prix de la vanille a flambé.

Pourquoi le prix de la vanille a flambé. | F&FNews | Scoop.it
En dix ans, le cours du kilo de vanille a décuplé: il vaut désormais plus qu’un kilo d’argent métal. Insécurité pour la production et «bulle spéculative» se sont emparées de la précieuse épice. Cinquante dollars en 2009. Cinq cents dollars en 2017.
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Appetite-enhancing effects of vanilla flavours such as vanillin.

Appetite-enhancing effects of vanilla flavours such as vanillin. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla flavour is familiar to consumers through foods, cosmetics, household products and some medicines. Vanilla flavouring agents typically contain vanillin or its analogue ethyl vanillin. Our previous study revealed that the inhalation of eugenol, which contains a vanillyl group, has an appetite-enhancing effect, and the inhalation of aroma compounds containing the vanillyl group or its analogues led to increased food intake in mice. Here, we found that vanillin, ethyl vanillin and eugenol showed appetite-enhancing effects, whereas isoeugenol and safrole did not. These results suggest that the appetite-enhancing effects could be attributable to the vanillyl group and could be affected by the position of the double bond in the aliphatic chain. Furthermore, the results of intraperitoneal administration of eugenol and vanillin suggest that their appetite-enhancing effects could occur via stimulation of olfactory receptors.

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The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom.

The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

The crop is targeted by gangs and costs as much as silver, but high prices hurt the ice-cream market and do little to reduce poverty on the African island.

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Campagne vanille 2018 : vers une professionnalisation du secteur à Madagascar.

Campagne vanille 2018 : vers une professionnalisation du secteur à Madagascar. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

A un mois et demi avant le jour J, les préparatifs de la campagne vanille 2018 battent leur plein dans la Sava. Dans son rôle de coordination du développement économique et social de l’ensemble de son ressort territorial, la région Sava veut contribuer à la professionnalisation du secteur durant cette campagne 2018 qui débute le 15 juillet prochain.

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Labeling Vanilla Flavorings and Vanilla-Flavored Foods in the U.S.

Labeling Vanilla Flavorings and Vanilla-Flavored Foods in the U.S. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla has been one of the most popular flavors in the United States for many years with vanilla ice cream as the most recognizable and popular vanilla-flavored food. When consumers purchase ice cream labeled as “vanilla ice cream” they expect it to be flavored with vanilla flavoring derived from vanilla beans unless labeled otherwise. As we shall see, this expectation is codified in two U.S. federal standards of identity, one for vanilla flavorings and one for ice cream.

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Crop uncertainty drives vanilla price back to record level.

Crop uncertainty drives vanilla price back to record level. | F&FNews | Scoop.it

Vanilla prices soared to its record $600 a kilogramme last year after a cyclone hit the tropical island off the south-east coast of Africa, sending buyers scrambling to secure supplies of the flavouring extract. Prices eased off below $550/kg at the end of last year on hopes of a good crop in 2018, but are now back at $600 amid uncertainty over crop levels.

The squeeze on vanilla beans has also pushed up the price of by-products of the beans. The price of “spent” vanilla specks — ground vanilla made from used beans that are then dried, ground and sterilised — has jumped from about $40 a kilogramme to $150, said traders.

The flowering period of the vanilla orchid, which produces vanilla beans, has ended and the pods are now growing...

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