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Selling Homemade Vanilla Extract - maybe?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I own a small bakery specializing in pies, cookies and cakes. I've been thinking about making homemade vanilla to sell during the holidays. I did make a courtesy call to our health dept to see if there was any problem with this because of the alcohol, but she wanted to check with the ATF (grrrrr). My storebought vanilla has 35% I figure it should be ok to do this as long as I follow the FDA guidelines. Has anyone tried to do this or have any insight? Thank you!
post #2 of 8
My daughter made vanilla for Christmas gifts, it was great. I liked the look of it a lot, you could see the flecks of the bean. She used pretty bottles, with a cute topper, and labels. I bet people would buy them as stocking stuffers, as well as for themselves.
post #3 of 8
In the UK you have to have the age restriction on the product as it is mainly alcohol. So I would say so long as you sell it to over 21's with ID etc you will be covered.
post #4 of 8
I had a wholesaler approach me about selling my extract and it is in production now to be sold in gourmet and organic specialty food stores. I do have an HD that is up on the law as far a selling baked goods with alcohol and the extract.

The extract falls under FDA, not ATF. You must make it 35% alcohol or by law (yes, law), you cannot call it extract. That is the minimum. You may be subject to an FDA inspection. In my area, the local FDA inspectors will come by and check out any wholesaling or sales issue that is not in the norm.

Another issue to consider is that it may fall under manufacturing because you will be bottling. This again, falls into the realm of the FDA. Not as in having an FDA certified kitchen for shipping out of state, but they are more knowledgeable concerning bottling and canning.

This is a packaged product, unlike cake and bakery goods which are considered unpackaged. You may need a nutritional label from a certified agency. You will need this if you ever ship it. Or you may have an HD code that just requires an ingredient label.

You also may need certification that it meets FDA requirements for extract. I don't, but if it is ever questioned, I have to have my exact process showing my percentages and how I derived the numbers.

I'll be happy to share anything else I have found out in a pm. Let me know if you are interested.
post #5 of 8

How generous is your offer to help! your post has already answered some questions for me. I wanted sell vanilla at farmers markets here in Colorado. If I understand you correctly, the issue is bottling and must meet certain standards fro manufaturing and bottling, is that right?

Who should i contact to comply, in your opinion? The health dept. and the FDA?

Can you think of other issues i might want to look out for?

Gain thanks for your generosity in sharing information....sometimes the only thing that stands between inaction and sucess is a little knowledge!

post #6 of 8
Website? Examples of said products? Photos?
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
post #7 of 8

what all did you find out? I wanted to put my vanilla in a boutique here in town; however, she said that I needed to be sure that it was FDA approved. I have looked online; however, I am still unsure as to what I need to do to sell my 4oz bottles of pure vanilla extract.

post #8 of 8

I'm looking into this subject myself and so far have only found this on the FDA website:


New Search
Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 2]
[Revised as of April 1, 2013]
[CITE: 21CFR169.175]



Subpart B--Requirements for Specific Standardized Food Dressings and Flavorings

Sec. 169.175 Vanilla extract.

(a) Vanilla extract is the solution in aqueous ethyl alcohol of the sapid and odorous principles extractable from vanilla beans. In vanilla extract the content of ethyl alcohol is not less than 35 percent by volume and the content of vanilla constituent, as defined in 169.3(c), is not less than one unit per gallon. The vanilla constituent may be extracted directly from vanilla beans or it may be added in the form of concentrated vanilla extract or concentrated vanilla flavoring or vanilla flavoring concentrated to the semisolid form called vanilla oleo-resin. Vanilla extract may contain one or more of the following optional ingredients:

(1) Glycerin.

(2) Propylene glycol.

(3) Sugar (including invert sugar).

(4) Dextrose.

(5) Corn sirup (including dried corn sirup).

(b)(1) The specified name of the food is "Vanilla extract" or "Extract of vanilla".

(2) When the vanilla extract is made in whole or in part by dilution of vanilla oleoresin, concentrated vanilla extract, or concentrated vanilla flavoring, the label shall bear the statement "Made from ___" or "Made in part from ___", the blank being filled in with the name or names "vanilla oleoresin", "concentrated vanilla extract", or "concentrated vanilla flavoring", as appropriate. If the article contains two or more units of vanilla constituent, the name of the food shall include the designation "_-fold", the blank being filled in with the whole number (disregarding fractions) expressing the number of units of vanilla constituent per gallon of the article.

(3) Wherever the name of the food appears on the label so conspicuously as to be easily seen under customary conditions of purchase, the labeling required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall immediately and conspicuously precede or follow such name, without intervening written, printed, or graphic matter.

(c)Label declaration. Each of the ingredients used in the food shall be declared on the label as required by the applicable sections of parts 101 and 130 of this chapter.

[42 FR 14479, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 58 FR 2886, Jan. 6, 1993] "



The definition is clear, but I need to know if there are specific rules about the packaging/bottling here in Connecticut, so the search goes on.

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