Plant-based vanillin is produced from vanilla orchids, wood, rice or clove. Oil-based vanillin is derived from guaiacol made from crude oil. In this article you can learn more about how plant-based vanillin differs from the oil-based alternative.
7. Which kind of vanillin has the lowest CO2 footprint?
Wood consists of 45% fibres and 25% sugar, which are the basis for specialty cellulose and bioethanol, respectively. Approximately 30% of the wood consists of binding materials from which vanillin is produced. From one kilo wood, Borregaard makes three grams of vanillin. Borregaard utilises 94% of the purchased wood, of which 82% turns into commercial products, 10% is used for internal energy and 2% is sold as bioenergy.
Consciousness around the negative effects oil production has on climate change puts pressure on manufacturers to look for more climate friendly production. Today, around 88% of vanilla flavourings come from synthetic vanillin derived from crude oil, 11,5% is plant-based vanillin, and 0,5% comes from the vanilla bean.
Changing to plant-based vanillin would be a sustainable alternative to oil-based vanillin, supporting customers wanting to consume responsibly in addition to meeting the demand for 'healthy/plant-based' options. Vanillin from wood has the lowest carbon footprint of any vanillin products on the market, arguably a key selling point for food producers and flavour and fragrance houses.
Borregaard operates the world's most advanced biorefinery. Using natural, renewable, and sustainable wood, helping the world move from oil-based carbon to green carbon from spruce trees. Our vanillin made from wood, EuroVanillin Supreme, is with its PEFC certification the only vanillin on the market with a sustainability certification, making it a uniquely sustainable choice.