Natural Vanillin is processed by: First, the seed pods are blanched in hot water, to arrest the processes of the living plant tissues. Then, for 1–2 weeks, the pods are alternately sunned and sweated: during the day, they are laid out in the sun, and each night, wrapped in cloth and packed in airtight boxes to sweat. During this process, the pods become a dark brown, and enzymes in the pod release vanillin as the free molecule. Finally, the pods are dried and further aged for several months, during which time their flavors further develop. Several methods have been described for curing vanilla in days rather than months, although they have not been widely developed in the natural vanilla industry, with its focus on producing a premium product by established methods, rather than on innovations that might alter the product's flavor profile.
In natural extraction, since vanillin is basically the heart of the vanilla bean, is a very potent antioxident showing benefits in even possitive progress towards necrosis (or death of), cervical cancer cells.
Can also be chemically synthesized by: The biosynthesis, (the production of a chemical compound by a living organism), of vanillin is achieved by the conversion of tyrosine into 4-coumaric acid then into ferulic acid and finally into vanillin. Vanillin is then converted into its corresponding glucose ester.
The conversion of ferulic acid into vanillin is achieved by conversion of the carboxylic acid into a thioester with acetyl-CoA. The feruloyl CoA is then hydrated into 4-hydroy-3-methoxypheyl-B-hydroxyprpionyl CoA. At this point, two different pathways have been purposed for the conversion of HMPHP CoA into vanillin. One pathway is similar to the B-oxidation of fatty acid, beginning with the oxidation of the hydroxyl group, cleavage, (division), to release acetyl-CoA to form a shortened thioester and then cleavage, (division), of the thioester into an aldehyde. The other pathway contains one enzyme that would simultaneously oxidize the hydroxyl group along with the release of acetyl-CoA.
Since synthetic vanillin is derived from wood (and some are aged in oak barrels) those with severe allergies to trees can suffer from an allergy to the flavoring.
But, how can you tell which is which? Especially in pre-made food? Check the ingredients. If the package says it contains “vanillin” or “artificial flavors,” stay away. These most likely contain the synthetic version of vanilla. Keep with packages that state the food was prepare with only natural ingredients.
The following is the chemical strand for Vanillin, OMG!!! No wonder I'm finding this close to impossible to define. :
A vanillin:NAD+ oxidoreductase comprising the amino acid sequence
A lot of things are saying that this starts off as an organic compound, but the process is seriously intense, to where this is nothing more than and EXTREMELY complicated chemical.