Vanillin can be used in food and beverage applications as a flavoring agent. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.
What Is Vanillin?
Vanillin is a phenolic aldehyde, an organic compound with the molecular formula C8H8O3. Vanillin is widely used in making foods, drinks, tobacco, wines, medicines, chemicals and various cosmetics. The largest use of vanillin is as a flavoring, usually in sweet foods. The ice cream and chocolate industries together comprise 75% of the market for vanillin as a flavoring, with smaller amounts being used in confections and baked goods.
Possible Side Effects of Vanillin
Though Vanillin is regarded as safe supplement, there maybe some side effects:
Possible short-term side effects
- mild headaches
- allergic reaction for those who are sensitive
Possible long-term side effects
- may kill brain cells
- could be considered an addictive substance
GRAS Affirmation: Yes
Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Vanillin is considered safe.
Special Populations Precaution
There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Vanillin populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Vanillin.
1. Vanillin Analog – Vanillyl Mandelic Acid, a Novel Specific Inhibitor of Snake Venom 5′-Nucleotidase. [Arch Pharm (Weinheim). 2014 Jul 15] Author: Arun R, Arafat AS, D’Souza CJ, Sivaramakrishnan V, Dhananjaya BL.
2. Comprehensive proteome analysis of the response of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 to the flavor compound vanillin. [J Proteomics. 2014 Jul 12] Author: Simon O, Klaiber I, Huber A, Pfannstiel J.
3. Inhibitory effect of vanillin on cellulase activity in hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. [Bioresour Technol. 2014 Sep] Author: Li Y, Qi B, Wan Y.
4. Improvement of membrane performances to enhance the yield of vanillin in a pervaporation reactor. [Membranes (Basel). 2014 Feb 28] Author: Camera-Roda G, Cardillo A, Loddo V, Palmisano L, Parrino F.
5. Research on a novel poly (vinyl alcohol)/lysine/vanillin wound dressing: Biocompatibility, bioactivity and antimicrobial activity. [Burns. 2014 Jun 18] Author: Zhou G, A R, Ge H, Wang L, Liu M, Wang B, Su H, Yan M, Xi Y, Fan Y.