Madagascar Vanilla

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The vanilla orchid is native only to Mexico and relies on a rare black Mexican bee to pollinate naturally. In 1841, a French owned 12-year old slave on Île Bourbon (now Réunion Island) discovered how to hand-pollinate vanilla orchids. Shortly thereafter vanilla plantations were introduced and became commonplace on the island of Madagascar.

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The type of vanilla grown on Madagascar and in most other locations is Vanilla planifolia, also known as Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. About 97% of the world's real vanilla comes from Madagascar. However, an estimated 95% of all vanilla products contains artificial vanilla. The best quality Bourbon Vanilla, also called Black Vanilla, is produced primarily around Antalaha, Sambava, Vohemar and Andapa in the northwest of Madagascar.

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In ancient times, vanilla was said to have aphrodisiac effects and help against fever. Although these properties remain scientifically unverified, it is known that vanilla increases levels of catecholamines, including epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline. In an in-vitro test, vanilla was able to block quorom sensing in bacteria. In many bacteria, quorum sensing signals function as a switch for virulence in that microbes only become virulent when these signals indicate that they have the numbers to resist the host immune system response. The essential oils of vanilla and vanillin are often used in aromatherapy.

Documentary on Madagascar's vanilla trade

Madagascar: The Chinese vanilla is a half-hour documentary that gives insight into Madagascar's vanilla production and how the trade is being shaped since recent years by an increase in demand from China.

The original French language version, MADAGASCAR Vanille Chinoise, produced in 2014 by WA Productions in cooperation with Public Sénat, can be viewed at http://t.co/nVIz2rkqDy

Google Newsfeed

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18-Dec-2017 10:46
Madagascar's vanilla situation is anything but plain - Treehugger
15-Dec-2017 16:06
Meet Madagascar's Vanilla King - OZY
07-Dec-2017 05:01
Madagascar's Vanilla Farmers Fight Off Thieves - OZY
05-Dec-2017 05:06
Does Madagascar's Vanilla Industry Have a Sweet Future? - OZY
20-Nov-2017 05:06
The Sour Side of Madagascar's Vanilla - OZY
19-Nov-2017 05:01
Vanilla: From Madagascar to Your Kitchen - OZY
06-Dec-2017 05:01
Madagascar vanilla crop improves, but prices may stay high - Food Business News
05-Dec-2017 16:21
Here's to moving toward a more sustainable vanilla bean harvest - Press Herald
17-Dec-2017 09:43
Your Passion for Fancy Vanilla Ice Cream Is Creating World-Wide Havoc - Wall Street Journal
14-Dec-2017 15:19
Christmas fizz for friends and the fat elf himself - San Diego Reader
18-Dec-2017 01:01


Further information