Vanilla flavour is associated with all things nice. However, this is a view that most vanilla farmers in Kerala will disagree with. Once a profitable venture, cultivation has taken a dip. The crop is labour-intensive, and takes time to flower. But what has been worrying farmers most is the use of synthetic vanillin -- an artificial extract, which has copied the smell and flavour of vanilla -- in food, beverages and cosmetics.
Vanilla is said to be the world’s most popular flavour. Its sweet, mildly fruity, spicy and alluring aroma is considered to be both sensual and calming. Aroma analysts call vanilla the smell of love... ARNAB PRATIM DUTTA travels to the farms of Kerala to find out what is rotten in the business of this sweet smelling spice.
To read full story, click here