Japanese Researchers Extract Vanilla From Cow Dung

By | December 8, 2006

Japanese Researchers Extract Vanilla From Cow DungYetch. I think Japan is just getting back at us for nuking them and putting Japanese Americans in US concentration camps. “See, taste like vanilla! You like! Eat! Eat! (hahaha, dumb Americans)”

Japanese researchers have succeeded in making the sweet smell of vanilla come out of the last thing people could imagine — cow dung.

In a world-first recycling project, a one-hour heating and pressuring process allows cow feces to produce vanillin, the main component of the vanilla-bean extract, according to researcher Mayu Yamamoto.Compared with usual vanilla, “this component is exactly the same but it would be difficult for people to accept it in food, given the recent rules of disclosing the origins of ingredients,” she said.

The production cost using dung is less than a half of making vanillin out of vanilla beans, she added. The feces of grass-eating animals is abundant with lignin, the chemical compound that exists in plants and trees and is used to produce vanilla aroma, Yamamoto said.

“Lignin is difficult to decompose,” she said. “Farmers are troubled by how to dispose properly of animal excrement. We tried to solve this from a recycling viewpoint,” she said. After taking the vanillin, the processed feces could be returned to the soil, she said.”

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