Recognize mold on vanilla

It is unfortunately for several months, quite common to hear some people complain about buying vanilla that makes moldy after opening their packaging. Why this phenomenon of mold?

Two coupled reasons explain this:

• The decline in vanillin, the main aromatic component of Planifolia vanilla (Madagascar, Mexico, Comoros, India …), but also an antiseptic agent, which limits the onset of disease. Vanillin levels have been declining for several years, due to too early harvesting at the source, the vanilla are therefore weakened and less stable.
• The lack of drying of the pods by some preparers, with the aim of generating gain faster and more easily. The less the pods are dried, the greater the weight per kilo will be, and the gain maximized effortlessly.
Fighting against the lack of drying is a complex task, even at the source, preparers do not wish to make more efforts in drying since some opportunists are ready to buy any quality to export it as soon as possible.

Lack of drying and decreasing vanillin levels are therefore factors of appearance of mold. If your vanilla should become moldy, their use should be avoided as it is very likely that their aroma will have evolved and will ruin all your preparations.

Nevertheless be careful not to confuse mold and traces of cold! Vanilla, even when they are stable and in  in a cold environment, tend to develop white spots on the entire pod. These white spots are actually the fat of vanilla that freezes (like a bottle of oil put in a fridge). To confirm this statement you just have to arrange the vanilla near a source of heat for about fifteen minutes and they will disappear.


White spots – fat frozen on vanilla