Banana extract is commonly available in the United States in liquid form; a powdered variety is available overseas. Use it to enhance the flavor in banana muffins or banana bread, or to add a sweet, mild flavor to dessert sauces or fruit smoothies.
Banana Extract Basics
Traditional banana extract is a liquid derived from a puree of the yellow banana. There is also a dried powder version of banana extract. Both carry a strong banana aroma and flavor. They are cholesterol- and sugar-free and add few calories due to the small amounts required for flavoring in most recipes. When stored at cool temperatures in tightly sealed containers, the extracts can have up to a two-year shelf life.
Liquid Banana Extract Ingredients
Liquid banana extract is typically made from flavor components extracted from the banana itself. Chiquita, one of the world's major banana producers, mixes flavors from pureed bananas with water and ethyl alcohol to make its liquid extract. Propylene glycol is added to stabilize the product. Most other brands are made with the same ingredients.
Banana Powder Extract Ingredients
A less common form of banana extract is made from dehydrated banana peel and fruit or freeze-dried fruit. This is not commonly available at U.S. food stores, but can be ordered from online specialty retailers. The powdered extract is used in the food industry in baked goods and ice cream. Powdered extract is occasionally used in cosmetic soap making as well.
Banana Extract Uses
The liquid extract is used primarily in food preparation by both home cooks and the food industry. Banana extract is highly concentrated, so most home recipes require only small amounts ranging from one drop to 1/2 tsp. Home food-related uses of banana extract include baked goods, sauces and ice cream. The liquid is also used to provide fragrance in homemade lotions and soaps.