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Why is ALDI recalling vanilla extract?

Brand: The Pantry. / ALDI.

Product: Madagascan Vanilla Extract

Product details: Code 68315.

Recall area: UK.

Reason: Labelling error. The product is labelled “Madagascan Vanilla Extract” but is actually “Moroccan Almond Extract”.

Risk: Poses a threat to people with nut allergies.

Questions: Direct to ALDI customer service (https://customerservice.aldi.co.uk/contact) or in store.

What is “natural vanilla flavouring”?

Popular brands:

This is found in far, far too many places.

Generic name: Castoreum.

Active ingredient: Beaver bum?

Can you make it? The RSPCA might have something to say.

Vegan?

No.

Halal?

No.

Ethical concerns?

Animal suffering, plus consumer rights. Basically, castoreum comes from the anal glands of a beaver, which means

A: someone had to extract it, and

B: sellers don’t want consumers to know about it.

Fact of the matter is: only two natural products taste of vanilla: vanilla pods and beaver bums. So if you see “natural flavouring”, “natural vanilla flavour”, or “vanilla flavour”, well, even just “flavour/ing” on your vanilla-tasting food, it’s probably beaver bum. Some raspberry-flavoured things too!

Health concerns?

None we’re aware of.

Alternatives:

Anything that says “vanilla bean”.

Lipton Beefy Onion Soup is vegan?!

Popular brand names: Lipton.

Generic name: Onion soup.

Active ingredient: Onions, apparently.

Can you make it?  Yes, you can recreate this mix at home with marmite/vegemite, onions, corn starch, flour, and salt. Just look up “onion soup recipe”.

Vegan?

Yes! It’s ingredients are:

Onions, Salt, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Potato Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Monosodium Glutamate (Natural Flavor Enhancer), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caramel Color, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor.

Halal?

Yes, there are no animal products in it and the MSG, as far as I am aware, is not produced via fermentation.

Ethical concerns?

Environmentally sound, but the company has had some issues with worker’s rights and unnecessary animal testing in the past. This product itself is not affected directly.

Health concerns?

MSG is a cause of concern for some, and it is a highly processed product over all.

Alternative brands:

  • Baxter’s
  • Suma
  • Just Wholefoods

Are there store brands?

Mostly simple onion soups, but add some marmite/vegemite and hey presto! Vegan beefy onion soup.

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