Are You Confident Your Recipe is Confidential?

Can a Proprietary Food Recipe Be Protected?

Are You Confident Your Recipe is Confidential?

Holy smokes, you came up with the best chili recipe in the world! Your friends are going crazy over it. So, you decide to sell it and share it with the world, but then a question pops into your head: “Can recipes be plagiarized?”

This is a common concern among food entrepreneurs. In an age where information is freely shared, plagiarism is running rampant.

Next question: “Can recipes be legally protected from being copied?” The good news is that any proprietary food recipe can be legally protected. This prevents anyone from trying to make a quick buck off your hard work, but it’s not always easy. Food recipes can be classified as intellectual property. As such, you have some options to protect yourself and your delicious chili.


A patent is a legal certification that you are the owner of a particular invention. This means that no one else can sell that invention without your express permission. Patents are pretty standard in the scientific and technology spaces.

So, can food be patented? Can you patent a drink? Few know that patents can apply to proprietary food recipes. This is because Patent Law doesn’t discriminate between edible and inedible objects.

The main problem with patents is that you need to prove the product is something new and novel. This is easier said than done. After all, how can you say that your chili is different from all the other chilis before it?

Verdict: If your proprietary food recipe is something that no else has done (and you can prove it), then a patent might work for you.

Can a Proprietary Food Recipe Be Protected?

Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a process or technique that only your business knows. Think of KFC’s “11 Secret Herbs and Spices” or the Coke formula. All of these are trade secrets.

Once protected as a trade secret, no one else will be able to use the exact recipe legally—but (and it’s a big BUT), someone else CAN try to replicate the recipe itself based on your product. This is called reverse engineering, and it is totally legal.

To make a trade secret work, you need to enforce it with everyone you do business with.

Verdict: Trade secrets are an effective way to protect your proprietary food recipe – if you’re careful


Trademarks are less about protecting the recipe and more about protecting the brand itself. In this case, you reserve the right to use the name and logo that will represent your food product. Think of Paul Newman’s “Newman’s Own” line of salad dressings. You can try and replicate their recipes, but can’t sell them using the same name.

This is useful if you have a unique tasting product and savvy branding. Yes, it won’t prevent anyone from copying your recipe, but it WILL prevent someone else from ripping off your “Mark’s Best Southern Chili” and selling it as their own.

Verdict: If you have the marketing chops to create a valuable food brand, it doesn’t matter if people copy your recipe. Sometimes, a brand is much more powerful.

The Benefits of Vanilla

The Benefits of Vanilla

As one of the worlds most appreciated flavours, does it have a place in your custom formulation?

What is vanilla extract used for? Most people know it as one of the world’s best-loved dessert flavourings next to chocolate. You can find it in anything from cakes to pastries and, of course, ice cream—but have you ever considered the health benefits of vanilla?

If you were ever an adventurous kid who tried vanilla right out of the bottle, you might be thinking, “Isn’t pure vanilla bad for you?” While it might not taste great by itself and isn’t often used by itself, vanilla is a safe and healthy additive for many reasons!

  1. Rich in Antioxidants

Vanilla is a spice with very high levels of antioxidants, which help protect your body’s cells against free radicals and toxins. Free radicals are bad business: they promote the breakdown of your cells and tissues. They are a by-product of natural body processes, though they also show up when we’re exposed to radiation.

Antioxidants are the most significant benefit of vanilla because they help repair your body at the molecular level. They’ve also been linked to lesser risks of various diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Plus they help reduce the effects of aging and promote more vibrant skin.

  1. Promotes Heart Health

How does vanilla help support a more healthy heart? One of the active ingredients in vanilla, vanillin, has been shown to lower bad cholesterol—and we all know how notorious cholesterol is as one of the primary causes of heart diseases.

This was the result of a 2013 study published by the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. In it, rats were exposed to controlled doses of vanilla. After 45 days, there was a significant reduction in the rats’ cholesterol profiles. While the cholesterol-reducing benefits of vanilla on humans are not fully understood yet, it is promising.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Why is vanilla good for your skin? Typically, inflammation is a good thing. It is merely the body’s response to any outside threat like microbes. However, when it persists due to certain conditions, it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Thanks to its antioxidant content, vanilla is a potent anti-inflammatory substance. This makes it a great addition to massage oils to help soothe inflamed or irritated skin. Eating anti-inflammatory foods may also help relieve pain for conditions such as arthritis.

  1. Lifts Your Spirits Up

We all know how great desserts are. When you’re unhappy, what do you do? Eat chocolate! Or when you’re extra depressed, a tub of vanilla ice cream all to yourself.

Well, it turns out there’s a scientific basis behind that. Vanilla, in particular, can be an effective anti-depressant. Another 2013 study on mice showed that exposure to vanillin reduced depression. The effect was significant and was comparable to an anti-depressant drug.

And while the anti-depressant benefits of vanilla might not work for everyone, its pleasant aroma might! Sometimes, that’s all it takes to lift your mood!

  1. It’s Great For Your Hair

There’s a reason some shampoos and hair products contain vanilla. It has a significant effect on your hair! Again, we have antioxidants to thank for that. Aside from helping repair cells, it also helps prevent damage to our hair follicles. This promotes healthy hair growth and delays hair loss.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of vanilla is through making your own extract. Simply steep high-quality vanilla beans in alcohol (usually vodka) for a day or two, and voila! Your very own vanilla you can use to promote a healthier you.