Is it simply vanilla flavoring producing what you smell and taste? Is it pure vanilla extract or imitation? Believe it or not, these are not all terms for the same flavor. Each term is different from the other. How do you know if you’re tasting a lab experiment or all-natural ingredients? The answer is a little complicated, so we’ll extract the differences for you. Let’s get started!
Vanilla flavoring can be an authentic flavor from the bean, or it can be synthetic. Essentially, vanilla flavoring is a creamy sweetness that comes from or simulates the taste of a natural vanilla bean.
Imitation vanilla flavoring has artificial ingredients and additives. It contains substances like synthetic vanillin, corn syrup, and lignin, which people extract from wood pulp. No actual vanilla beans are in artificial vanilla flavoring.
Imitation vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring are almost the same things. The vast majority of imitation vanilla comes from a lab-produced version of vanillin. Vanillin is a naturally occurring substance in the vanilla bean that produces a distinct vanilla taste.