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Vinegar is an acidic liquid processed from the fermentation of ethanol in a process that yields its key ingredient, acetic acid. It also may come in a diluted form. The acetic acid concentration typically ranges from 4 to 8 percent by volume for table vinegar (typically 5%) and higher concentrations for pickling (up to 18%). Natural vinegars also contain small amounts of tartaric acid, citric acid, and other acids. Vinegar has been used since ancient times and is an important element in European, Asian, and other cuisines.

The word "vinegar" derives from the Old French vin aigre, meaning "sour wine".

History

Vinegar has been made and used by people for thousands of years. Traces of it have been found in Egyptian urns dating from around 3000 BC. According to Shennong's Herb Classic, vinegar was invented in China during the Xia Dynasty, around 2000 BC.

In the Bible, it is mentioned as something not very pleasant (Ps. 69:21, Prov. 25:20), but Boaz allows Ruth to "dip her piece of bread in the vinegar" (Ruth 2:14). Jesus was offered vinegar or sour wine while on the cross (Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36). In Islamic traditions, vinegar is one of the four favored condiments of the Prophet Muhammad, who called it a "blessed seasoning".

In 1864, Louis Pasteur showed that vinegar results from a natural fermentation process.

Production

Vinegar is made from the oxidation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. The ethanol may be derived from many different sources including wine, cider, beer or fermented fruit juice, or it may be made synthetically from natural gas and petroleum derivatives.

Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional vinegars and fermentation proceeds slowly over the course of weeks or months. The longer fermentation period allows for the accumulation of a nontoxic slime composed of acetic acid bacteria and soluble cellulose, known as the mother of vinegar.

Fast methods add mother of vinegar (i.e. bacterial culture) to the source liquid before adding air using a Venturi pump system or a turbine to promote oxygenation to obtain the fastest fermentation. In fast production processes, vinegar may be produced in a period ranging from 20 hours to three days.

Varieties

Malt

A bottle of malt vinegar
Malt vinegar is made by malting barley, causing the starch in the grain to turn to maltose. Then an ale is brewed from the maltose and allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged. It typically is light brown in color.

Wine

Sherry vinegar
Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine and is the most commonly used vinegar in Mediterraneanmarker countries and Central Europe. As with wine, there is a considerable range in quality. Better quality wine vinegars are matured in wood for up to two years and exhibit a complex, mellow flavor. Wine vinegar tends to have a lower acidity than that of white or cider vinegars. There are more expensive wine vinegars that are made from individual varieties of wine, such as Champagne, Sherry, or pinot grigio.

Apple cider

Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known simply as cider vinegar, is made from cider or apple must and has a brownish-yellow color. It often is sold unfiltered and unpasteurized with the mother of vinegar present, as a natural product. It is very popular, partly due to supposed beneficial health and beauty properties . Due to its acidity, apple cider vinegar may be very harsh even burning to the throat. If taken straight (as opposed to use in cooking), it can be diluted (e.g. with fruit juice or water) before drinking. It is also sometimes sweetened with sugar or honey.There have been reports of acid chemical burns of the throat in using the pill form.

Apple cider vinegar can be used as an effective ear wash and even treatment for a dog's ear infection. Take care to mix 3 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar to prevent burning.

Fruit

Persimmon vinegar produced in South Korea
Fruit vinegars are made from fruit wines, usually without any additional flavoring. Common flavors of fruit vinegar include apple, black currant, raspberry, quince, and tomato. Typically, the flavors of the original fruits remain in the final product.

Most fruit vinegars are produced in Europe, where there is a growing market for high-priced vinegars made solely from specific fruits (as opposed to non-fruit vinegars which are infused with fruits or fruit flavors). Several varieties, however, also are produced in Asia. Persimmon vinegar, called gam sikcho (감식초), is popular in South Koreamarker. Jujube vinegar photo (called or 红枣 in Chinese) and wolfberry vinegar photo (called 枸杞 in Chinese) are produced in China.

Umezu (; often translated as "umeboshi vinegar" or "ume vinegar"), a salty, sour liquid that is a by-product of umeboshi (pickled ume) production, is produced in Japan, but technically is not a true vinegar.

Balsamic

Balsamic vinegar is an aromatic, aged type of vinegar traditionally crafted in the Modenamarker, and Reggio Emiliamarker provinces of Italymarker from the concentrated juice, or must, of white grapes (typically of the Trebbiano variety). It is very dark brown in color and its flavor is rich, sweet, and complex, with the finest grades being the product of years of aging in a successive number of casks made of various types of wood (including oak, mulberry, chestnut, cherry, juniper, ash, and acacia). Originally a product available only to the Italian upper classes, a cheaper form of balsamic vinegar became widely known and available around the world in the late twentieth century. True balsamic vinegar (which has Protected Designation of Origin) is aged for 12 to 25 years. Balsamic vinegars that have been aged for up to 100 years are available, though they are usually very expensive. The commercial balsamic sold in supermarkets is typically made with red wine vinegar or concentrated grape juice mixed with a strong vinegar, which is laced with caramel and sugar. Regardless of how it is produced, balsamic vinegar must be made from a grape product.

Balsamic vinegar has a high acidity level but the tart flavor is usually hidden by the sweetness of the other ingredients, making it very mellow.

Rice

A bottle of rice vinegar produced in Guangdong, China
Rice vinegar is most popular in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. It is available in "white" (light yellow), red, and black varieties. The Japanesemarker prefer a light rice vinegar for the preparation of sushi rice and salad dressings. Red rice vinegar traditionally is colored with red yeast rice. Black rice vinegar (made with black glutinous rice) is most popular in Chinamarker, and it is also widely used in other east Asian countries(see East Asian black, below).

Some varieties of rice vinegar are sweetened or otherwise seasoned with spices or other added flavorings.

Coconut

Coconut vinegar, made from fermented coconut water, is used extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine (particularly in the Philippines, a major producer, where it is called suka ng niyog), as well as in some cuisines of India. A cloudy white liquid, it has a particularly sharp, acidic taste with a slightly yeasty note.

Palm

Palm vinegar (sukang paombong)
Palm vinegar, made from the fermented sap from flower clusters of the nipa palm (also called attap palm), is used most often in the Philippines, where it is produced, and where it is called sukang paombong.

Cane

Cane vinegar, made from sugar cane juice, is most popular in the Philippinesmarker, in particular, the Ilocos Region of the northern Philippines (where it is called sukang iloko), although it also is produced in France and the United States. It ranges from dark yellow to golden brown in color and has a mellow flavor, similar in some respects, to rice vinegar, though with a somewhat "fresher" taste. Contrary to expectation, containing no residual sugar, it is not sweeter than other vinegars. In the Philippines, it often is labeled as sukang maasim, although this is simply a generic term meaning "sour vinegar."

A white variation has become quite popular in Brazilmarker in recent years, where it is the cheapest type of vinegar sold. It is now common for other types of vinegar (made from wine, rice and apple cider) to be sold mixed with cane vinegar to lower the costs.

Raisin

Raisin vinegar produced in Turkey
Vinegar made from raisins, called khal 'anab (خل عنب) in Arabic (literally meaning "grape vinegar") is used in cuisines of the Middle East, and is produced therein. It is cloudy and medium brown in color, with a mild flavor. photo

Date

Vinegar made from dates is a traditional product of the Middle East.http://mahramco.com/products.aspx?id=116{{Dead link|date=November 2009}} ===Beer=== [[Image:Beervinegar.jpg|thumb|right|135px|A bottle of German beer vinegar]] Vinegar made from [[beer]] is produced in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Although its flavor depends on the particular type of beer from which it is made, it often is described as having a malty taste. That produced in [[Bavaria]], is a light golden color with a very sharp and not-overly-complex flavor. ===Honey=== Vinegar made from [[honey]] is rare, although commercially available honey vinegars are produced in [[Italy]] and [[France]]. ===East Asian black=== Chinese [[Rice vinegar|black vinegar]] is an aged product made from [[rice]], [[wheat]], [[millet]], [[sorghum]], or a combination thereof. It has an inky black color and a complex, malty flavor. There is no fixed recipe and thus some Chinese black vinegars may contain added sugar, spices, or caramel color. The most popular variety, Zhenjiang vinegar (鎮江香醋), originated in the city of [[Zhenjiang]], in the eastern coastal province of [[Jiangsu]], China[http://news.asianweek.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=dcd86dc7c83d91f2079714cf8e3a053a AsianWeek.com] and also is produced in [[Tianjin]] and [[Hong Kong]]. [[Image:Black vinegar.jpg|thumb|140px|Japanese ''kurozu'']] A somewhat lighter form of black vinegar, made from rice, also is produced in Japan, where it is called ''kurozu''. Since 2004 it has been marketed as a healthful drink; its manufacturers claim that it contains high concentrations of [[amino acid]]s. ===Flavored vinegars=== [[Image:CantonesecuisineRedvinegar.jpg|thumb|right|140px|[[Cantonese cuisine|Cantonese]] red vinegar]] Popular fruit-flavored vinegars include those infused with whole [[raspberry|raspberries]], [[blueberry|blueberries]], or [[fig]]s (or else from flavorings derived from these fruits). Some of the more exotic fruit-flavored vinegars include [[blood orange]] and [[pear]]. Herb vinegars are flavored with [[herb]]s, most commonly [[Mediterranean]] herbs such as [[thyme]] or [[oregano]]. Such vinegars can be prepared at home by adding sprigs of fresh or dried herbs to vinegar purchased at a grocery store; generally a light-colored, mild tasting vinegar, such as that made from white wine, is used for this purpose. Sweetened vinegar is of [[Cantonese cuisine|Cantonese]] origin and is made from rice wine, sugar and herbs including ginger, cloves, and other spices. Spiced vinegar, from the Philippines (labeled as spiced ''sukang maasim''), is flavored with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. ===Job's Tears=== In Japan, an aged vinegar also is made from [[Job's Tears]]; it is similar in flavor to rice vinegar. ===Kombucha=== Kombucha vinegar is made from [[kombucha]], a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria. The bacteria produce a complex array of [[nutrients]] and populate the vinegar with bacteria which some claim promotes a healthy digestive tract, although no scientific studies have confirmed this. Kombucha vinegar primarily is used to make a [[vinaigrette]] and is flavored by adding strawberries, blackberries, mint, or blueberries at the beginning of fermentation. ===Kiwifruit=== A by-product of commercial [[kiwifruit]] growing is a large amount of waste in the form of firstly misshapen or otherwise rejected fruit that may constitute up to 30 per cent of the crop and secondly kiwifruit pomace which is the presscake residue left after kiwifruit juice manufacture. One of the uses for this waste is the production of kiwifruit vinegar. Produced commercially in New Zealand[http://www.apctt.org/publication/pdf/tm_dec_biotechnz.pdf Biotechnology in New Zealand] since, at least, the early 1990s. Production of kiwifruit vinegar began for domestic sale in China in 2008[http://www.versatilevinegar.org/latestnews_2008_12.html The Vinegar Institute]. ===Distilled vinegar=== Any type of vinegar may be distilled to produce a colourless solution of about 5% to 8% acetic acid in water. This is variously known as distilled, spiritAllgeier RJ et al., ''Newer Developments in Vinegar Manufacture'', 1960 ("manufacture of white or spirit vinegar"), in Umbreit WW, ''Advances in Microbiology: Volume 2'', Elsevier/Academic Press Inc., ISBN 0120026023, accessed at Google Books 2009-04-22{{pn}} or white vinegar, and is used for medicinal, laboratory and cleaning purposes as well as in cooking, including [[pickling]].Sinclair C, ''International Dictionary of Food and Cooking'', Peter Collin Publishing, 1998 ISBN 0948549874{{pn}} The most common starting material, due to its low cost, is malt vinegar. The term 'spirit vinegar' is sometimes reserved for the stronger variety (5% to 20% acetic acid) made from sugar caneEllsey's, "[http://www.ellsey.co.uk/Products.html Products]", accessed 2009-04-22 or from chemically produced acetic acid. ==Culinary uses== Vinegar is commonly used in [[food]] preparation, particularly in [[pickling]] processes, [[vinaigrette]]s, and other [[Salad#Salad dressings|salad dressings]]. It is an ingredient in sauces such as [[Mustard (condiment)|mustard]], [[ketchup]], and [[mayonnaise]]. Vinegar is sometimes used while making [[chutney]]s. It is often used as a [[condiment]]. [[Marinade]]s often contain vinegar. *Condiment for [[beetroot]] - it is a common preference to consume [[beetroot]] with vinegar. *Condiment for [[fish and chips]]{{ndash}} People commonly use malt vinegar (or [[non-brewed condiment]]) on [[French fried potatoes|chips]]. *Flavoring for [[potato chips]]{{ndash}} many American, Canadian and British manufacturers of packaged potato chips and crisps feature a variety flavored with vinegar and salt. *Vinegar pot pie{{ndash}} is a North American [[dessert]] made with a vinegar to one's taste. *Pickling{{ndash}} any vinegar can be used to [[Pickling|pickle]] foods. *Cider vinegar and sauces{{ndash}} cider vinegar usually is not suitable for use in delicate sauces. *Substitute for fresh lemon juice{{ndash}} cider vinegar can usually be substituted for fresh lemon juice in recipes and obtain a pleasing effect although it lacks the vitamin C. *Saucing roast [[Lamb and mutton|lamb]]{{ndash}} pouring cider vinegar over the meat when roasting lamb, especially when combined with honey or when sliced onions have been added to the roasting pan, produces a sauce. *Sweetened vinegar is used in the dish of [[Pork Knuckles]] and [[Ginger]] [[Stew]] which is made among Chinese people of Cantonese backgrounds to celebrate the arrival of a new child.http://www.patchun.com.hk/ie/new_baby.htm New babies



  • Red vinegar Sometimes used in Chinese soups




  • Commonly put into mint sauce, for general palette preference.


Medical uses

Many remedies and treatments have been ascribed to vinegar over millennia and in many different cultures, however, few have been verifiable using controlled medical trials and many that are effective to some degree have significant side effects and carry the possibility of serious health risks.

Possible cholesterol and triacylglycerol effects

A 2006 study concluded that a test group of rats fed with acetic acid (the main component of vinegar) had "significantly lower values for serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol", among other health benefits. Rats fed vinegar or acetic acid have lower blood pressure than controls, although the effect has not been tested in humans. Reduced risk of fatal ischemic heart disease was observed among participants in a trial who ate vinegar and oil salad dressings frequently.

Blood glucose control and diabetic management

Prior to hypoglycemic agents, diabetics used vinegar teas to control their symptoms. Small amounts of vinegar (approximately 20 ml or two tablespoons of domestic vinegar) added to food, or taken along with a meal, have been shown by a number of medical trials to reduce the glycemic index of carbohydrate food for people with and without diabetes. This also has been expressed as lower glycemic index ratings in the region of 30%.

Diet control

Multiple trials indicate that taking vinegar with food increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) and so, reduces the amount of food consumed.

Infections

Vinegar has been used to fight infections since Hippocrates, who lived between 460-377 BC, prescribed it for curing persistent coughs. As a result, vinegar is popularly believed to be effective against infections. While vinegar can be an effective antibacterial cleaning agent on hard surfaces such as washroom tiles and countertops, studies show that vinegar whether taken internally or applied topically is not effective against infections, lice, or fungus.

Researchers at the Food Biotechnology Department, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC) in Seville, Spain, conducted research on the antimicrobial activity of several products. Vinegar and red and white wines were among the products tested. (Note: The focus of the research was olive oil, but it confirmed other findings related to vinegar and red and white wines.) The following microorganisms were used in the study: S. aureus, L. monocytogenes, S. Enteritidis, E.coli 0157:H7, S.sonnei and Yersinia sp. Among the items tested, vinegar (5% acetic acid) showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested, which was attributed to its high acetic acid content. The researchers noted their study confirmed previous results. It was noted that both red and white wines exhibited bactericidal activity, in particular against Salmonella Enteritidis and Yersinia sp. S. aureus and L. monocytogenes were the least sensitive to the wines.

Other medicinal uses

Applying vinegar to common jellyfish stings deactivates the nematocysts; however, placing the affected areas in hot water is a more effective treatment because the venom is deactivated by heat. The latter requires immersion in 45°C (113°F) water for at least four minutes for the pain to be reduced to less than what would be accomplished using vinegar. But vinegar should not be applied to Portuguese man o' war stings, however, since their venom is different from most jellyfish and vinegar can cause their nematocysts to discharge venom, making the pain worse. Vinegar is often used as a natural deodorant, mainly because of its antibacterial effect.

Contrary to myth, vinegar cannot be used as a detoxification agent to circumvent urinalysis testing for marijuana.

Potential hazards

Esophageal injury by apple cider vinegar tablets has been reported, and because vinegar products sold for medicinal purposes are neither regulated nor standardized, they vary widely in content, pH, and other respects. Long-term heavy vinegar ingestion may also cause Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia, and Osteoporosis.

Cervical Screening Tool

Diluted vinegar 3% to 5%, has also been tested as an effective screening tool for cervical cancer. Vinegar changes the color of affected tissue to white, making the diagnosis by inspection, reducing in 35% the mortality for early detection against control group.

Cleaning uses

White vinegar is often used as a household cleaning agent. Because it is acidic, it can dissolve mineral deposits from glass, coffee makers, and other smooth surfaces. For most uses dilution with water is recommended for safety and to avoid damaging the surfaces being cleaned.

Vinegar is an excellent solvent for cleaning epoxy resin and hardener, even after the epoxy has begun to harden. Malt vinegar sprinkled onto crumpled newspaper is a traditional, and still-popular, method of cleaning grease-smeared windows and mirrors in the UKmarker. Vinegar can be used for polishing brass or bronze.

Recently, vinegar has been marketed as a green solution for many household cleaning problems. For example, vinegar has been cited recently as a eco-friendly urine cleaner for pets and as a weed killer.

Agricultural and horticultural uses

Herbicide use

Vinegar can be used as an herbicide. Acetic acid is not absorbed into root systems, so vinegar will kill top growth, but perennial plants will reshoot.Vinegar made from natural products classifies as organic and so there is interest in its being used on farms, orchards, and gardens which are certified as organic.

Commercial vinegar, available to consumers for household use, does not exceed 5% and solutions above 10% need careful handling since they are corrosive and damaging to skin. Stronger solutions (i.e., greater than 5%) that are labeled for use as herbicides are available from some retailers.

Miscellaneous

When a bottle of vinegar is opened, mother of vinegar may develop. It is considered harmless and can be removed by filtering.

Vinegar eels (Turbatrix aceti), a form of nematode that has cells that are air-borne, may occur in some forms of vinegar unless the vinegar is kept covered. These feed on the mother of vinegar and can occur in naturally fermenting vinegar. This is the reason vinegar condiment jars have tightly-fitting stoppers. Most manufacturers filter and pasteurize their product before bottling to eliminate any potential adulteration, although they are harmless when ingested.

When vinegar is added to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), it produces a volatile mixture which rapidly decomposes into water, carbon dioxide and sodium ethanoate, which makes the reaction fizz. It is often used to illustrate typical acid-base reactions in school science experiments.

Some countries prohibit the selling of vinegar over a certain percentage acidity. As an example, the government of Canada limits the acetic acid of vinegars to between 4.1% and 12.3%.

Posca, a Roman legionaries' basic drink was vinegar mixed with water and optional honey.

According to legend, in Francemarker during the Black Plague, four thieves were able to rob houses of plague victims without being infected themselves. When finally caught, the Judge offered to grant the men their freedom, on the condition that they revealed how they managed to stay healthy. They claimed that a medicine woman sold them a potion, made of garlic soaked in soured red wine (vinegar). Variants of the recipe, called Four Thieves Vinegar, have been passed down for hundreds of years and are a staple of New Orleansmarker Voodoo practices.

Vinegar can be mixed with heated milk to create a casein-based plastic.

Diluted vinegar can be used as a homemade stop bath during photographic processing.

The mixing of vinegar, fruit juice, and a touch of detergent makes a good trap for catching the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. They are attracted to the pungent smell, and when they go for a drink they fall in due to the detergent breaking the Surface tension.

See also



External links



References

  1. FDA: Sec. 525.825 Vinegar, Definitions - Adulteration with Vinegar Eels (CPG 7109.22)
  2. Health Benefits of Prophetic Condiments: Part One of Five: IslamOnline
  3. http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074550.htm
  4. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/12/26/48hours/main259812.shtml
  5. Portuguese Man 'o Wars and their sting treatment
  6. Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
  7. Fooling the Bladder Cops
  8. "My Environment: Cleaning Products", Ontario Ministry of the Environment
  9. "Trade Secrets: Betty's Tips", BBC/Lifestyle/Homes/Housekeeping, accessed 2009-04-22
  10. "Cleaning Up After Your Pet...the Natural Way!", KeenforGreen.com
  11. "Using Vinegar to Kill Weeds", KeenforGreen.com
  12. Spray Weeds With Vinegar?
  13. Vinegar as herbicide
  14. Conquer Weeds with Vinegar?
  15. Roman food and drink
  16. Homemade Plastic
  17. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article2537936.ece
  18. Vinegar stop bath
  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BMzkVLpt4



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