Does Imitation Vanilla Extract Have Alcohol?
The big question for many bakers is, does imitation vanilla extract have alcohol in it?
If you want to avoid using alcohol in your baking, you might be wondering if you need to switch to the genuine deal.
Yes, imitation vanilla extract does have alcohol in it.
Not to worry, though if you’re trying to avoid alcohol as we’ll give you another option below.
What is imitation vanilla extract made of and does it have alcohol in it?
Vanilla extract is a popular flavoring agent that is used to enhance the flavor of many foods, including cakes and cookies.
Imitation vanilla extract is not made from real vanilla beans, but instead contains artificial ingredients like sugar and vegetable oil.
The ingredients vary by brand and may also include artificial colors, corn syrup solids and propylene glycol.
It does contain some amount of alcohol, typically about 35%, for extracting out the flavor compounds from the artificial ingredients used in making it.
Fortunately, the small percentage of alcohol used in imitation extracts evaporates during cooking, leaving behind a subtle flavor which can be enjoyed without worry.
Is There Alcohol in Pure Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract is widely used in baking and cooking to add flavor to many dishes, and it’s important for cooks to understand if the extract contains alcohol or not.
The simple answer is yes; most pure vanilla extracts do contain alcohol. However, what is often forgotten when asking this question is that this type of extract also typically includes four other ingredients — water, sugar, bean pod and gum solution — along with ethyl alcohol.
So while it does contain some percentage of alcohol, it has been carefully balanced against these other components to create an extract that contains a nontoxic amount of ethanol.
In fact, the majority of recipes using vanilla extract will stand up to being cooked or baked, so long as the extract isn’t added until near the end of the cooking process in order for its flavors and aromas to remain at their best.
Is There Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Extract?
While vanilla extract usually contains alcohol, it doesn’t have to.
Many stores sell non-alcoholic varieties that are just as flavorful as the original.
Though legally they cannot be called ‘vanilla extract’ and instead go by ‘vanilla flavoring.’
The production process for non-alcoholic extracts is a bit different as producers must capture the flavor and aroma molecules in vanilla beans without using high-proof ethanol in the distillation process.
However, these non-alcoholic blends still offer delicious flavor to your baked goods and don’t contain any amount of alcohol whatsoever.
If you’re looking for an alternative that still adds an enjoyable touch to your recipes, try a bottle of non-alcoholic vanilla extract today!
Can You Get Drunk on Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract is a popular cooking ingredient, but surprisingly enough, did you know that it can get you drunk?
This has been known for decades, and the Food and Drug Administration has even warned against consuming large quantities of it.
Products labeled “natural” or “imitation” vanilla extract may contain up to 35 percent of pure ethyl alcohol in addition to several trace chemicals.
The only surefire way to tell if your vanilla extract contains alcohol is by reading the label prior to purchase.
While it might be tempting to use vanilla as an alternative way to get intoxicated, one should consider its potential consequences due to its high alcohol content.
Even smelling pure vanilla extract can make one lightheaded due to environmental ethanol exposure!
So remember that while you might be able to get drunk on vanilla extract, it could prove dangerous.
To recap, imitation vanilla extract has ingredients that are made to mimic the flavor of vanilla, but does not contain alcohol.
Pure vanilla extract does contain alcohol. Non-alcoholic vanilla extract is an alternative for those who do not want to consume alcohol.
Finally, it is possible to get drunk on vanilla extract if a large enough volume is consumed.
Overall, it is always important to read labels carefully and consult with your doctor before consuming any food that contains a high percentage of alcohol.
All in all, educational information about food items can help us make healthier choices and informed decisions about what we eat or drink.