STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vanilla pod, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Section through a vanilla pod showing the seeds (red) and parachyma tissue. Vanilla flavouring is derived from the seeds and pods of Vanilla sp. orchids. The main component of vanilla essential oil is vanillin, which gives it the characteristic aroma and flavour. Vanilla pods are used either whole or sliced open in flavouring foods. An alcoholic extract of the pods is also used. Magnification: x25 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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