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Takasago International Co. has set its sights on vanilla in Madagascar.
The company recently revealed its focus on vanilla in the region and on Sept. 20, 2012, signed a joint venture agreement with Ramanandraibe Export Co., the largest vanilla producer in Madagascar in order to gain a competitive advantage in securing this strategic natural raw material, while achieving price stability and cost effectiveness.
The move puts Takasago in direct contact with the farmers in the heart of the vanilla cultivation zone in the northeastern part of Madagascar, the world’s leading vanilla bean exporting country.
Located in Sava, an area between Sambava and Antalaha, the 60-hectare vanilla plantation Takasago acquired is called Domain of Ambohimanitra, which means “the hill of a thousand fragrances.” As a result, Takasago can now cultivate, harvest, process and extract its own vanilla locally, while selecting the best vanilla pod quality and influencing the whole curing process, which is essential for the development of vanilla’s signature aroma and taste, in order to preserve the more than 200 flavor compounds present in the Vanilla planifolia beans.
The crude vanilla extracts processed in the Madagascar factory in Tamatave are then shipped to Takasago Morocco in Agadir, a recently acquired facility specialized in the extraction and customization of key natural raw materials, including vanilla.
Takasago says its resources and technology allow it to create a completely new vanilla taste perspective as the company works with a constantly evolving knowledge database to better understand and map the ever changing country‐, age‐ and gender‐specific consumers’ preference of vanilla-flavored foods and beverages.
In order to meet the increasing global vanilla flavor demand, a whole portfolio of distinctive vanilla specialties, ranging from three to 20 fold extracts to other customized vanilla products and flavors with individual footprint tonalities, all compliant with country‐specific food regulations, will soon be available for Takasago’s captive use, as well as for food and beverage manufacturers at market competitive prices.