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Why We Should Not Use Vacuum-Packed Vanilla Beans

I have been asked by many of you to explain why vacuum-packed vanilla has a negative effect and why we should not use it. Vacuum-packed is a good way of preserving certain foods like dried coffee, which has no live organisms. Therefore, it’s a great form of preservation to prevent oxidation and drying. Another example would include pumpkin or sunflower seeds. After they have been roasted and salted, it’s wise to keep them in anaerobic conditions because it will prevent oxidation. When done correctly, it prevents contact with the outside air. Vanilla beans, in any situation, will still carry microorganisms on them; it’s a natural product coming from the soil. The curing process is not like roasting coffee. It takes a very short time to kill the plant tissue, and some live microorganisms will be killed. However, a few minutes at 63-65 degrees is not enough to kill spores (a stable form of mold). Vacuum practices are done mainly to keep the moisture intact, which allows our supplier to sell us water for the price of beans (beans should contain 25% or less moisture content). While in a vacuum, the mold cannot grow because it requires oxygen to do so. However, the spores that were brought from the soil are still present. In addition, upon release to open air, the vacuum inside the beans draws fungal spores and insect eggs that will spread mold growth and result in insect infestation.