The new Solid Extract (SE) Vanilla Bourbon claims to offer the same quality and flavor profile as standard vanilla extract, and is said to be compatible with all applications where regular vanilla extract is used. Vanillin, the primary flavor component in vanilla beans, is generally extracted from the beans using alcohol as a processing aid, since it is alcohol soluble. Frutarom said its new product is processed in the same way as standard vanilla, with the use of an ethanol/water solvent. However, the firm then uses a distillation process to remove the alcohol and most of the water. This results in a concentrated vanilla extract that does not contain the alcohol, therefore making it suitable for use in Halal certified products. According to Frutarom's John Gilroy, other alcohol-free types of concentrated Vanilla products on the market are oleoresins and absolutes. However, these contain essential oils, which make them difficult to use with water-based applications. In contrast, he said, SE Vanilla is water soluble, which makes it more convenient for use in applications such as beverages. In addition, he explained that the oleoresins are sometimes extracted with harsher solvent systems such as acetone, methanol and isopropyl alcohol. SE Vanilla also claims to be more heat stable than other vanilla extracts, making it suitable for use in UHT and HTST pasteurization applications. "With regular vanilla extracts you usually lose some of the lighter fractions when they go through the heat stage, so the flavor profile of a product after UHT will be slightly different to before," said Gilroy. "With our product, what you see is what you get - it comes out exactly as it went in," he told FoodNavigator-USA.com. The product comes in a highly concentrated syrup form, which is the equivalent to a 10 fold vanilla extract in strength. A fold is the relative measure of strength of vanilla extract, as set out by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) standard of identity for pure vanilla. Single fold vanilla is typically what the consumer buys at retail. For food processing, two, three or four fold vanillas are generally used. A single fold vanilla contains the extractive matter of 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans, containing less than 25 percent moisture, in one gallon of 35 percent aqueous ethyl alcohol. Two fold uses 26.7 ounces of vanilla beans, contains twice as much extractive matter and is twice as strong. Three fold and four fold are three or four time the content of one fold. Frutarom's product, which is 10 fold, is also marketed as suitable for manufacturers simply looking for a higher concentrated version of standard vanilla extract. According to the firm, although the product is more expensive than others on the market, it has the same cost-effectiveness as standard extract, due to its lower usage levels. "We're always looking for ways to anticipate the requirements of customers with special needs. We encourage food and beverage manufacturers whose products are targeted to specific consumer groups or categories to come to us so that we can put our flavorists to work to accommodate them," said Michael Conti, vice president natural products business manager, Frutarom USA.