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Summary
ProduceMadagascar Vanilla
Common Name Vanilla
Size Seed is a third of an inch by 6 inches, vine can grow to 300 feet and above
VarietyBourbon vanilla beans
Packing specificationPacked in 25kg cartons
Season October-November(flowering season), July (harvest season)
Transport conditions Protect from mechanical influence, well ventilated containers, controlled temperature and moisture level

Madagascar vanilla is a flavoring extracted from the orchids of the family, vanilla. This plant is originally from the Mexican species of flat-leaved vanilla. The name vanilla is derived from a Spanish word vaina which simply means ‘little pod’. 

The vanilla plant is from the vanilla genus and planifollia species, hence its scientific name Vanilla planifolia.

Madagascar vanilla is known to be the best quality in the world. The vanilla bean is used primarily as a flavor. However, people also use it to make medicine for gastritis and fevers while others use it as an aphrodisiac.

When a vanilla vine orchid is grown in its natural habitat, it grows to at least 300 feet. Sometimes it grows higher. The vanilla bean, a red-black or sometimes brown seed, is mostly a third of an inch by six inches in size.

Like other types of plants, vanilla beans exhibit different flavors depending on several factors. Some of these actors are where they are grown, soil and climate, methods of harvesting, curing and drying among others.

The most common type of vanilla found in Madagascar is the Madagascar vanilla bean which is also known as the bourbon vanilla bean. These vanilla beans are grown on the islands of Madagascar and are the thinnest variety with the most flavor. They produce a clear and creamy flavor which makes Madagascar vanilla arguably the best in the world.

Vanilla seeds strive exceptionally in warm and very humid climatic conditions. The main cultivation area in Madagascar is the Sava region. In Madagascar, the rainy season begins in October all through to November. It is at this time that the vanilla seeds are at the flowering season. By  June, the plants are mature and ready for harvest, this is now the harvest season.

Vanilla should be stored in a cool, dry place with proper ventilation. Vanilla is hygroscopic and therefore interacts with moisture in the air. This interaction increases the risk of mold growth. It is consequently vital to keep vanilla away from warm and humid areas. It is essential to look out for a visible white covering of vanillin crystals on vanilla. Most people mistake it for mold while it is, in fact, a sign of quality.

The produce is packaged in cans to ensure that it does not become musty due to interaction with moisture. Vanilla is also stored under a recommended air exchange rate of 6 changes per hour

Vanilla should be transported in well-ventilated shipping containers under controlled temperatures and moisture conditions. This is to avoid the risk of overheating and corrosion of the packaging containers

 During loading, the cans should be handled well to protect them from mechanical damage as any breakage or tear will allow moisture into the can lead to molding.

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