I would like to find out if vanilla is halaal. I have heard that to extract the vanilla flavour from the vanilla bean, alcohol is used.
Yes while extracting the natural vanillin which is the main source of vanilla flavoring, alcohol is used. If vanilla powder is obtained by crushing the vanilla beans without the use of alcohol, then it would be halaal.
It should also be noted that a number of products may contain artificial vanilla flavor which does not contain alcohol. As such, it would be permissible to use such products when it is certain that there is no alcohol.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan