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Research & Education

Bakto Flavors carriers out extensive research on vanilla, oregano and other natural products. We collaborate with Rutgers University and other top institutions around the world. Our work results in highly regarded publications and invited international seminars.


Effective postharvest processing turns herbal waste into beneficial product – the case of oregano - 2011

Written by Daphna Havkin-Frenkel, Nativ Dudai and Hans van der Mheen


Functional characterization of two new members of the caffeoyl CoA O-methyltransferase-like gene family
from Vanilla planifolia reveals a new class of plastid-localized O-methyltransferases - 2011
Written by Thomas Widiez, Thomas G. Hartman, Nativ Dudai, Qing Yan, Michael Lawton, Daphna Havkin-Frenkel,  Faith C. Belanger


Handbook of Vanilla Science and Technology - 2011
Written by Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and Faith Belanger
Provides a comprehensive overview of the science and technology used in the production and supply chain of vanilla products.


Biotechnology in Flavor Production - 2008
Edited by Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and Faith Belanger
Biotechnological production of vanillin
Written by Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and Faith Belanger


II International Symposium on Natural Preservatives in Food, Feed, and Cosmetics - 2008
ISHS Acta Horticulturae 778
Editors: Daphna Havkin-Frenkel, Nativ Dudai, Hans van der Mheen
Discoloration of Oregano Post-Distillation Left-Over Leaf Extract
Written by D. Yi Jin Booth, A. Sinha, K.E. Galasso, and D. Havkin-Frenkel


Application of Plant Metabolic Engineering - 2007
Editors: R. Verpoorte, A.W. Alfermann, T.S. Johnson
Application of Metabolic Engineering to Vanillin Biosynthetic Pathways in Vanilla planifolia
Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and Faith Belanger


Vanilla: The Food of the Gods
Agro Food Industry Hi-tech, February/March 2007
Daphna Havkin-Frenkel


Post Harvest Handling and Storage of Cured Vanilla Beans

Daphna Havkin-Frenkel and  Chaim Frenkel


Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Natural Preservatives in Food Systems 2006
Edited by Dr. Daphna Havkin-Frenkel, Dr. Nativ Dudai, and Dr. Chaim Frenkel

Dr. Daphna Havkin-Frenkel is an editor for the Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Natural Preservatives in Food Systems. The book has been published by ISHS and is now available. For more details, or to order a copy of the proceedings, go to


Natural Preservatives in Oregano
Dudai, N.; Segev, D.; Havkin-Frenkel, D.; Eshel, A. (2006) Genetic variation of phenolic compounds content, essential oil composition and anti oxidative activity in Israel-grown Mentha longifolia L.  Published in Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Natural Preservatives in Food Systems, by ISHS


Patent on the production of vanillin -2003:


Patent on the Extraction of useful component from post distillation plant material: -2005


New Genes from Vanilla

Li, H.M., Rotter, D., Hartman, T.G., Pak, F.E , Havkin-Frenkel, D., Belanger, F.C. (2006) Evolution of novel O-methyltransferases from the Vanilla planifolia caffeic acid O-methyltransferase, Plant Mol Biol, Accepted for publication.


New Information About Vanillin
Frenkel, C., and  Havkin-Frenkel, D. (2006) The Physics and Chemistry of Vanillin, Perfumer and Flavorist. Vol. 31, pg. 28-36


Daphna Havkin-Frenkel is featured in Chemical and Engineering News Magazine:
click here for more information


Vanilla, The Proceeding of the First International Congress can be purchased from the following website.


The State of Vanilla
Perfumer and Flavorist, November/December 2005


An article by Dr. Daphna Havkin-Frenkel et. al. appears in the May issue of Perfumer and Flavorist


Chemistry and Physics of Vanillin in Personal Care Applications.
Symposium on High Function Naturals, New York, NY April 13, 2004

Abstract: A tendency to aggregate influences the behavior of vanillin, a primary aroma constituent in vanilla flavor. Aggregation, that is, propensity for self-association restrains the volatility of vanillin (below a critical temperature) and the escape tendency from aqueous solutions. Escape tendency of vanillin in water is proportional to the solubility of the compound and solubility, in turn, is enhanced by alkaline conditions and increase in temperature. Enhanced solubility augments also the chemical reactivity of the carbonyl group in vanillin, e.g., Schiff base formation, thereby leading to depletion and negation of aromatic efficacy of vanillin. Conditions, which influence aggregation or solubility
of vanillin in aqueous media, may determine the physical and chemical fate of vanillin in formulations for personal care products.


A hairy tissue produces vanillin.
Israel Journal of Plant Sciences Vol. 51 2003 pp. 157–159.
A unique secretory tissue produces the most important flavoring agent. Vanillin accumulates in the secretion around the seeds in the mature fruit of the vanilla orchid. A unique secretory tissue that is composed of closely packed unicellular hairs is located in the three gaps between the placentas along the central fruit cavity. These cells contain enzymes that are involved in vanillin biosyntheis and seem to be responsible for vanillin secretion.


Interrelation of curing and botany in Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) bean.
The fruit of the climbing orchid Vanilla planifolia (vanilla bean) is used for the  commercial production of the prized vanilla flavor, consisting of vanillin and other numerous flavor compounds, with the use of a curing process. However, present curing methods yield only a fraction of the vanilla flavor from flavor precursors in green beans. Studies on the botany of vanilla beans revealed that flavor precursors are found in the bean interior, where they are secreted onto the placental region around the seeds, whereas hydrolytic or other degradative enzymes, which catalyze the release of the flavor precursors to flavor compounds, are localized mostly in the outer fruit wall region. This insight suggests that the objective of killing, the first curing stage carried out by hot water scalding, freezing or by other methods, is to disorganize the bean tissue, such that contact is created between substrates and their respective enzymes. Sweating, a subsequent step in curing, entailing high temperatures (usually around 45º to 65º C) and high humidity, provides conditions for enzyme-catalyzed production of flavor compounds and also for non-enzymatic reactions. The objective of the final curing steps, including drying and conditioning, is to dry the cured beans to preserve the formed flavor compounds. Further understanding on the botany and curing of the vanilla bean may render a full recovery of flavor from the flavor precursors in vanilla beans and, subsequently, significant economic gains.

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