The only global solution for truly natural vanillin

The food industry is looking to meet increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients and healthier products. With Rhovanil® Natural, Solvay provides a unique solution that enables manufacturers to easily incorporate natural vanillin in their recipes.

Where does vanilla come from? Originally from vanilla beans, of course. But today, vanilla bean production only represents 1% of the global demand for vanillin, so manufacturers have no choice but to use industrially-produced vanilla extract substitutes. Historically, Solvay has always had a leading position in this market. In fact, the company’s ancestor Rhône Poulenc was the first to successfully synthesize an artificial equivalent to the precious molecule, in the late 19th century, in France.

Today, when manufacturers are actively looking for solutions that will help them meet the “clean label challenge” – exhibiting simpler and additive-free ingredient lists that can satisfy the customers’ growing thirst for natural products – replacing artificial vanillin with a natural vanilla extract substitute is becoming a key competitive advantage. Given the importance and omnipresence of vanillin in products ranging from baked goods to chocolate, dairy to confectionery, natural vanillin is a crucial ingredient in order to meet clean label criteria.

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 Up for the clean labeling challenge

That’s where Solvay’s Rhovanil® Natural CW has a role to play. This molecule, the only industrially produced vanillin recognized as “natural” by the most stringent regulations (namely the European Union legislation) was launched in 2018 and is the latest development within the Rhovanil® brand, which was created in the 1970s and has maintained Solvay as a global leader in the vanillin market. 

Produced from a natural raw material, ferulic acid obtained from non-GMO rice bran oil, and through a manufacturing process recognized by EU authorities as “traditional” – fermentation – Rhovanil® Natural CW is considered a natural product. This makes it one of the numerous eco-friendly solutions Solvay has been developing over recent years in a wide range of sectors, as well as one of many products through which the Company contributes to feeding the world.

Furthermore, because of its natural origin, Rhovanil® Natural CW enables “clean labeling” for manufacturers, in addition to being strictly identical on a molecular level to vanilla extract. Products containing it can bear mentions such as “natural flavoring”, “natural vanilla fragrance” and of course “natural vanillin”, allowing manufacturers to provide transparent and reassuring information for consumers whose awareness is constantly on the rise when it comes to safety, traceability and healthfulness, in food products first and foremost, but also in personal care and cleaning products, areas where Solvay has also been working on providing manufacturers with both eco-friendly and bio-based products and solutions.

 

Rhovanil Vanillin animation

Demand for natural vanillin will only grow

Because of these new consumer expectations, the world’s demand for natural vanilla extract substitutes is set to continue growing. And this trend is only reinforced by the fact that natural vanilla is going to continue being extremely expensive as production volumes cannot grow to meet rising global demand. 

Solvay has therefore strongly bolstered its production capacities for natural vanillin in recent years: the Group now runs manufacturing plants in Europe, China and the USA, complemented by Vanil’Expert Centers, multidisciplinary facilities gathering experts of all sorts to advise customers in adapting to market specificities.

One additional advantage for manufacturers of Rhovanil® Natural CW is that it allows a simple switch from synthetic vanillin without requiring any reformulation. Because the molecules are strictly identical, they offer the same physical and chemical properties, as well as the same organoleptic profile: rich, creamy and long-lasting sweetness – which happens to be also increasingly used for non-sweet products such as sports nutrition supplements. 

However you look at it, there is no doubt that natural vanillin is on the rise!