UK company boasts natural solution to vanilla crisis

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In the United Kingdom, Omega Ingredients has developed a natural vanilla flavor and extract as suppliers scramble for alternatives amid surging global prices.

Omega says both products meet European Union requirements and can be used in the same way in confectionery and baking applications.

Bad weather in Madagascar, which produces over 80% of vanilla sold globally, has created a need for alternatives. According to confectioneryproduction.com, vanilla is now the second most expensive spice in the world, with prices increasing as much as 4-fold since 2015. Imitation vanilla contains vanillin, which is either produced by chemical synthesis or as a wood pulp processing byproduct. Omega Ingredients says its vanilla has no chemical aftertaste and allows for natural claims on product labels.