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The Worst Advices We’ve Heard For Does Vanilla Extract Have Gluten

The answer to the question, “does vanilla extract have gluten,” is not straightforward. But if it’s for baking, you might want to know that Nielsen-Massey Imported French Vanilla also makes a gluten-free version. And while we’re at it, we’ll tell you that the word “imported” is just something that companies add when they want to sound fancier than they really are and let us all know its quality and purity.
It’s time to banish some of those myths that have been passed down to you through the generations. And yes, you read correctly: it’s time for the truth.
In a hurry? Well there are two main reasons why people choose not to use vanilla extract in their baking or cooking: 1) because it’s alcohol-based and 2) because it has gluten. It turns out, people believe vanilla extract contains a gluten protein called gliadin . According to them, this ingredient can cause stomach problems for those who cannot tolerate gluten. However, we’ll clear this up for you in a minute.
The truth is that many brands of vanilla extract are indeed alcohol-based, but they are not free of gluten. In fact, they contain synthetic gluten. The gluten they contain is made from soy protein and starch and is produced in a lab. There is no authentic vanilla extract with gluten or alcohol as an ingredient.
But don’t worry: you can still enjoy vanilla in your baking without worrying about the trace amounts of gluten in the recipe (we’ll explain why later).

So what does vanilla have to do with gluten?

The reason people think vanilla extract has gluten stems from the presence of another ingredient called vanillin . Vanillin is actually a natural substance found in several plants, including some fruits and flowers. The most common source is the vanilla bean. It has a sweet smell and taste that goes really well with chocolate.

The main reason you might have heard that vanilla extract has gluten is because of the presence of vanillin in gluten-based products. In fact, it’s even found in some food dyes, perfumes, and toothpaste. But it’s not present in gluten-free foods of any kind (and vanilla isn’t one).
It was thought that vanillin could be made into synthetic gliadin (which contains gluten proteins) by hydrolysis (a reaction between an acid and a base), yielding vanillin and a synthetic protein that was both chemically and structurally like gliadin . The vanillin is highly reactive and can react with the free amino groups of the gliadin, yielding a protein that has anaphylactoid (inflammatory) activity. This is how some people think that vanilla extract has gluten.
Vanillin cannot be hydrolyzed into gliadin, because it lacks sufficient chemical bonds to react with other amino acids in the protein. Also, hydrolysis will degrade vanillin’s sensitive aromatic properties and thus prevent it from being used as a flavoring (like vanilla).
Vanillin is not present in alcohol-based extracts made from natural beans or fruits. It is also present in some perfumes and toothpastes, but not in foods themselves (including gluten-free foods).
So, there you have it. Vanilla extract is not made from gluten, and has no gluten in it at all.
It’s time to banish some of those myths that have been passed down to you through the generations. And yes, you read correctly: it’s time for the truth. The reason people think vanilla extract has gluten stems from the presence of another ingredient called vanillin . Vanillin is actually a natural substance found in several plants, including some fruits and flowers. The most common source is the vanilla bean. It has a sweet smell and taste that goes really well with chocolate. The main reason you might have heard that vanilla extract has gluten is because of the presence of vanillin in gluten-based products. In fact, it’s even found in some food dyes, perfumes, and toothpaste. But it’s not present in gluten-free foods of any kind (and vanilla isn’t one). It was thought that vanillin could be made into synthetic gliadin (which contains gluten proteins) by hydrolysis (a reaction between an acid and a base), yielding vanillin and a synthetic protein that was both chemically and structurally like gliadin . The vanillin is highly reactive and can react with the free amino groups of the gliadin, yielding a protein that has anaphylactoid (inflammatory) activity. This is how some people think that vanilla extract has gluten. Vanillin cannot be hydrolyzed into gliadin, because it lacks sufficient chemical bonds to react with other amino acids in the protein. Also, hydrolysis will degrade vanillin’s sensitive aromatic properties and thus prevent it from being used as a flavoring (like vanilla). Vanillin is not present in alcohol-based extracts made from natural beans or fruits. It is also present in some perfumes and toothpastes, but not in foods themselves (including gluten-free foods). So, there you have it. Vanilla extract is not made from gluten, and has no gluten in it at all.
This article seems to say that there may be some similarity between vanilla and wheat but can’t find any proof of that via internet searches…

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Are flavor extracts gluten free?

Many fruit flavors are gluten free. However, the same cannot be said for extracts made from grains or cereals (including those labeled ‘natural’). This is because the extract is made from the grain or cereal itself, not the fruit it comes from – so there is no difference.
This is why Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Extract has been formulated differently. Our vanilla extract has no alcohol and no gluten. It contains a rich source of vanilla flavor but with a refreshingly clean taste without any aftertaste. It also contains natural coconut oil, which gives it its creamy taste that some traditional alcohol-based extracts can leave behind.
The reason people think vanilla extract has gluten stems from the presence of another ingredient called vanillin . Vanillin is actually a natural substance found in several plants, including some fruits and flowers. The most common source is the vanilla bean. It has a sweet smell and taste that goes really well with chocolate. The main reason you might have heard that vanilla extract has gluten is because of the presence of vanillin in gluten-based products. In fact, it’s even found in some food dyes, perfumes, and toothpaste. But it’s not present in gluten-free foods of any kind (and vanilla isn’t one). It was thought that vanillin could be made into synthetic gliadin (which contains gluten proteins) by hydrolysis (a reaction between an acid and a base), yielding vanillin and a synthetic protein that was both chemically and structurally like gliadin . The vanillin is highly reactive and can react with the free amino groups of the gliadin, yielding a protein that has anaphylactoid (inflammatory) activity. This is how some people think that vanilla extract has gluten. Vanillin cannot be hydrolyzed into gliadin, because it lacks sufficient chemical bonds to react with other amino acids in the protein. Also, hydrolysis will degrade vanillin’s sensitive aromatic properties and thus prevent it from being used as a flavoring (like vanilla). Vanillin is not present in alcohol-based extracts made from natural beans or fruits. It is also present in some perfumes and toothpastes, but not in foods themselves (including gluten-free foods). So, there you have it. Vanilla extract is not made from gluten, and has no gluten in it at all.
I’m someone who has celiac disease and I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Extract. I have no problems with it.

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What is vanilla extract flavor made of?

Vanilla flavor comes from the seed pods of a tropical vine. It is one of the most popular flavors in use today, and is widely used in both commercial food products and as a home cooking ingredient. Vanilla extract is made from curing vanilla beans in an alcohol base, which draws out the vanilla aroma, flavor and essential oils contained within the bean.
This article seems to say that there may be some similarity between vanilla and wheat but can’t find any proof of that via internet searches…

Are flavor extracts gluten free?

Many fruit flavors are gluten free. However, the same cannot be said for extracts made from grains or cereals (including those labeled ‘natural’). This is because the extract is made from the grain or cereal itself, not the fruit it comes from – so there is no difference.
This is why Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Extract has been formulated differently. Our vanilla extract has no alcohol and no gluten. It contains a rich source of vanilla flavor but with a refreshingly clean taste without any aftertaste. It also contains natural coconut oil, which gives it its creamy taste that some traditional alcohol-based extracts can leave behind.
The reason people think vanilla extract has gluten stems from the presence of another ingredient called vanillin . Vanillin is actually a natural substance found in several plants, including some fruits and flowers. The most common source is the vanilla bean. It has a sweet smell and taste that goes really well with chocolate. The main reason you might have heard that vanilla extract has gluten is because of the presence of vanillin in gluten-based products. In fact, it’s even found in some food dyes, perfumes, and toothpaste. But it’s not present in gluten-free foods of any kind (and vanilla isn’t one). It was thought that vanillin could be made into synthetic gliadin (which contains gluten proteins) by hydrolysis (a reaction between an acid and a base), yielding vanillin and a synthetic protein that was both chemically and structurally like gliadin . The vanillin is highly reactive and can react with the free amino groups of the gliadin, yielding a protein that has anaphylactoid (inflammatory) activity. This is how some people think that vanilla extract has gluten. Vanillin cannot be hydrolyzed into gliadin, because it lacks sufficient chemical bonds to react with other amino acids in the protein. Also, hydrolysis will degrade vanillin’s sensitive aromatic properties and thus prevent it from being used as a flavoring (like vanilla). Vanillin is not present in alcohol-based extracts made from natural beans or fruits. It is also present in some perfumes and toothpastes, but not in foods themselves (including gluten-free foods). So, there you have it. Vanilla extract is not made from gluten, and has no gluten in it at all.
This article seems to say that there may be some similarity between vanilla and wheat but can’t find any proof of that via internet searches…

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What is vanilla extract flavor made of?

Vanilla flavor comes from the seed pods of a tropical vine. It is one of the most popular flavors in use today, and is widely used in both commercial food products and as a home cooking ingredient. Vanilla extract is made from curing vanilla beans in an alcohol base, which draws out the vanilla aroma, flavor and essential oils contained within the bean.

What is vanilla extract flavor made of?


Vanilla extract comes from the seed pods of a tropical vine. It is one of the most popular flavors in use today, and is widely used in both commercial food products and as a home cooking ingredient. Vanilla extract is made from curing vanilla beans in an alcohol based, which draws out the vanilla aroma, flavor and essential oils contained within the bean.


Commercial vanilla extract is usually a combination of alcohol and vanilla flavor (which is the extract of the vanilla bean). This can vary in ratio depending on how it is made, but no matter how you look at it, the two ingredients are intertwined. I’m thinking that if this was enough to dissolve the protein structure of gluten, then there would be plenty of companies using vanilla in their products that would be getting sued left and right by people.

I just wanted to drop you a quick note about your guest post for glutenfreemaven. I know it’s been circulated around on other blogs and forums and I just wanted to say thanks for addressing an issue that we’re all concerned about.