Scientists Made Vanilla Out of Cow Dung.

Japanese researcher Mayu Yamamoto has succeeded in making vanilla out of ... 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.

The vanillin extracted from the feces could be used in products such as shampoo and aromatic candles but not in food, said Yamamoto, who works for the Research Institute of the state-run International Medical Center of Japan.

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.

Link - via Fortean Times

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Sounds intriguing.
Pretty soon, we'll have cows that can produce vanilla ice cream all on their own.

Now if we feed them cocoa beans, we could get chocolate, too...
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Actually, the article says it costs about half of what it costs using vanilla beans.

Still, it's disgusting. And it's all fine and good until someone gets mad vanilla disease. I wonder if it has an after-aroma of barnyard...
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And they fail to tell you that this vanilla extract from dung would cost about 150 dollars per lb. to produce.

Just more junk science at work. Must be a government grant. :)
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