In the discussion regarding mexican vanilla I was made aware that some
of my vanilla was contaminated with coumadin.
I asked if vanilla from the Dominican Republic has the same problems
and received no reply that I saw.
I'm still trying to find out if this vanilla from the Dominican
Republic is contaminated and how I can find out if it is.
Not sure how good an idea that is. Coumarin is a blood thinner, and is
an active ingredient in some rat poisons, if memory serves.
As is so often the case, google is your friend. Search for "vanilla
dominican republic coumarin". Among other things, I found
which mentions that at least one company's product was seized at the border. FIRM: PRODUCT/CODE
Centro Dominicano de Promocion Vanilla Extract/28C--51
Plaza de la Independcia
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
If you buy vanilla in Mexico or the Domincan Republic or other less developed
nations, you are running a risk. If you buy it in the US, you are considerably
safer. If you bought it in the US, I'd enjoy it without a second thought.
'rat poison' has such a great mystique . . . . Until you're unemployed
for a while and end up riding around with your slacker friend who's a bug
Not saying you should eat rat poison, but, here's the lowdown, very
Pretty much all animal life depends to some extent on traces of vitamin
K in the diet. You don't need much.
Lots of animals have the ability to synthesize a little bit of vitamin
K. Birds can synthesize a lot. This means that if you're not getting it in
your diet, and typically you are, your body can turn some other things you
ate into enough vitamin K to get by.
A lot of poisons used on rodents specifically prevent their physiology
from recycling vitamin k, and they essentially die of a lack of vitamin k
in their bloodstream.
Coumarin, like most of the compounds used in most rat poisons, is
anticoagulant by nature of interfering with vitamin k. If you fear you've
ingested a lot of something like that very recently, eat some vitamin k.
This is one of the many points where you have a poison that's really
really poisonous for one sort of animal and not *as poisonous for another.
I am however in favor of eating less poison. Like my friend, he says
that the worst poison he uses on the job is a lot less poisonous than
clorox bleach, and most of them are less poisonous than windex, but he
still doesn't drive around handling poisons with his bare hands and
munching on finger foods all day.
None of this really helps. Taste it? Does it differ in taste? I'm
willing to taste it, not drink it, but I need to know what I should be
looking for in difference.
The bottle says Vanilla Negra, Industrias Guiguena.c. por A. 16 oz
REG.SANITARIO 4957 REG IND 15058
And it has a bar code.
Well, it's not the same company I mentioned in my previous post (you did
read all the way to the bottom, didn't you?).
And to repeat, in case you didn't, if you bought it in the USA, it's
almost certainly safe. If you bought it in Mexico or the Dominican
Republic, it's not as likely to be safe.
considering the amount of vanilla used in most recipes I would not be
overly concerned unless you are eating an enormous amount of it.
If you are really concerned the Poison Center (I forget its real name
but is in the phone book, emergency numbers) or the FDA should be able
to tell you if it was a legal import.
If you eat a cookie made with it and start bleeding from every bodily
orifice then you know it is bad.
I did read all the way to the bottom. I checked the site and the
maker of my vanilla was on the list. If you read MY message it stated
it was given to me by my son, who purchased it .... in the Dominican
Republic. Now admittedly the banned substance is not vanilla, but if
one is banned how safe is another of their product?
INDUSTRIAS GUIGUENA CxA
SANTO DOMINGO DO-01, DO 10131 FLA-DO
28CGY02 Almendra Concentrate
They mix coumarin into it because it tastes so similar to vanillin that
a normal tongue can hardly discern between them.
If you want to smell coumarin as a pure and natural scent go to a
incense shop and smell Tonka-bean (lat.: Dipteryx odorata). It has a lot
of coumarin on it. (It is like a white powder on the bean)
It can´t be that poisoning in normal quantities. Here in Germany we have
a drink called "Maibowle". It is made with "Sweet Woodruff" (lat.:
Galium odoratum). This plant developes coumarin when geting dry. You can
smell the coumarin in it when you collect this plant and keep it for
People say that if you drink too much of that stuff you might get a
headache but that´s about all.
So don´t be too worried about it, it is not a deadly drug...
That's what i was trying to say - since we're higher primates, vitamin K
deficiency doesn't hurt us as much. Also since we're so large, it takes a
lot of coumarin to affect a healthy person.=20
I think the advisories I'd read said something about people already
taking anticoagulants, hemophiliacs, other people who have blood clotting
I don't think coumarin tastes as much like vanillin as it does smell
like it, and smell is a big factor in taste. It's said to taste slightly
bitter. But then, Vanilla started out as a perfume.=20
I don't know. In fact I'm kind of wondering what I bought when we were
visiting Barbados a few years ago. I brought back 2 bottles of vanilla
with me, and 2 bottles of 'mixed spices'. The mixed spice had several
mixed flavourings in it as well as vanilla. It smelled wonderful and I
used to substitute it for vanilla when baking.
I guess I'm sticking to Club House vanilla. I tried a cheaper brand
(house brand) of a large grocery A&P grocery chain and it was nowhere
the same in quality of taste or fragrance. Now it's the real thing
brand label or not at all. Feh!
Would anyone know if the vanilla from Barbados is unadulterated?
I prefer the Penzeys double strength stuff. I don't have a clue about
contamination of spices from the Mexico, central America or where ever.
Never wanted to save a buck that bad to poison myself. I've always
found you pay for what you get.
There are various spice merchants on the web if you don't like the
Penzey's double strength vanilla is my favorite, but now that it's priced
at just under $40 for 16 oz., it's clearly out of my price range. For that
matter, the supermarket prices aren't that far behind it. Vanilla is
simply being priced out of the market.
Vanilla extract? Hard to think of too much that can go wrong with a
decent brand of real vanilla. It is mostly alcohol.
There are some brands that use sugar or corn syrup and if the
container gets contaminated you might get some sort of mold around the
top or similar, in which case ditch it, but what is the problem you
are trying to solve?