Approaches to Controlled Curing of Vanilla Beans
Patrick J Dunphy, PhD, MRSC.
Vanilla and Flavour Consultant
The traditional curing of vanilla beans is a tried and tested method for producing a positive balanced flavour with hopefully, but not latterly, the high vanillin content demanded by the industry. Despite its historical pedigree it suffers from a number of deficiencies and has not progressed utilising current developments in chemistry and plant biochemistry. It lacks flexibility to generate specific flavour directions and suffers from limitations dictated by weather dependence and lack of process management. This review will consider the advantages of controlling the curing operation in terms of temperature/time management, tissue state and other interventions to achieve consistent and optimised flavour.
Dr. Patrick Dunphy is a biochemist by training with extensive experience in food and plant science. This expertise is spread over the last 40 years with a principal focus on all aspects of flavour science and flavour release working, in order, with Unilever R&D in the UK and the Netherlands, Danisco Flavour Division and latterly with Firmenich R&D in Geneva, Switzerland. Since July 2009 he has established himself as a flavour consultant specialising in all aspects of vanilla chemistry and biochemistry with particular focus on vanilla curing at both the laboratory and production scale locally in Madagascar, India and Uganda. He has published more than 25 research papers on all aspects of flavour science as well as 40 reports and is the holder of 20 patents; the most recent of which relates to novel aspects of vanilla curing. In addition he is the author of 9 papers on all aspects of vanilla curing. He can offer exclusive consultancy services and workshops especially in the vanilla discipline.