Do we Need a Code of Federal Regulations for Vanilla?
Dr. Krishna Bala
Fort Collins, CO
Vanilla is the only flavor in the US that has a standard of identity listed under the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR). This Code for vanilla is outdated and has outlived its usefulness. It is also contributing to the current chaos in the vanilla market. The interpretation of CFR for vanilla is vague and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have any real interest or resources to clarify what it really means. As a result of this an average person cannot easily understand it’s detail, nor is it helping the American consumer, or the vanilla extract producer. Subsistence vanilla farmers are not benefiting from vanilla cultivation; the only winners are the illegal rosewood traders and speculators. CFR for vanilla is a hindrance to the development of cost-effective and environmentally safe extraction technologies, development of natural vanilla flavors and vanilla flavor enhancers. The CFR needs to be rewritten and updated.
Dr. Krishna Bala began his flavor and food science career at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he received his doctorate degree in Food Science and Nutrition. Prior to becoming a partner with Rodelle Inc, Krishna worked for Beck Flavors, Danisco and Firmenich. During that time he developed a fascination for the world’s most popular flavor: vanilla. Krishna and his group introduced new technologies to make vanilla extracts. Krishna became a world traveler by visiting the vanilla producing countries like Madagascar, Indonesia, Uganda, India, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. He has written articles and co-authored papers on vanilla beans and curing.