Thursday, November 6, 2008
Extracts and Holiday Baking Quality
What about Imitation Extracts and Flavourings?
When shopping for extract, you’ll quickly notice there are many inexpensive imitation extracts and flavourings in the marketplace. This is especially true with vanilla extracts. Why are these products so much cheaper than Nielsen Massey extracts? The answer is simple - quality.
The first place to look is the ingredient label. Many inexpensive products do not contain the primary ingredients of pure extract - vanilla and alcohol. Most likely, you will not find the word 'vanilla' within the ingredient list at all! In fact, looking closely at the product labeling, you will notice these inexpensive products are labeled 'Vanilla Flavouring' not 'Vanilla Extract'.
Another product to be aware is ‘Imitation Extract’. Imitation extracts are derived from synthetic vanillin - which mimics the natural flavour of vanilla. The most common sources of synthetic vanillin are Lignin Vanillin, a by-product of the pulp and paper industries and Ethyl Vanillin, a coal-tar derivative. Not very appealing!
In the end, quality often costs a little more. And when it comes to baking, quality ingredients are an important factor in creating great tasting food. We encourage you to bake with pure extracts and avoid synthetic, imitation extracts and flavourings. Nielsen Massey pure extracts are the preferred choice of professional pastry chefs and bakers for a reason.