4800×4800 pixels – 40.64×40.64cm – 300 pixels/inch – 65.9M – x359 magnification at this size.
SEM of inside a Vanilla Pod showing black seeds in parachyma tissue.
Vanilla flavouring is derived from the seeds and pods of orchids of the genus Vanilla, the main species of which being Vanilla planifolia. The main component of vanilla essential oil is vanillin which gives it the characteristic aroma and flavour.
Vanilla pods are used for flavouring foods and confections either entire, or cut open revealing the seeds. An alcoholic extract of the natural pods is also used. Due to the scarcity and expense of producing natural vanillin, the compound is synthetically manufactured for the bulk market in pure form from lignin but lacks the depth of natural vanilla which is a complex mixture of a number of other organic constituents.

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