Vinegar
Overview
 
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

 and water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation
Fermentation
Fermentation may refer to:* Fermentation , the use of fermentation in food preparation* Fermentation , a metabolic process whereby electrons released from nutrients are ultimately transferred to molecules obtained from the breakdown of those same nutrients* Fermentation , the process of...

 of ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 by acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria are bacteria that derive their energy from the oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid during fermentation. They are Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. Not to be confused with the genus Acetobacterium which are anaerobic homoacetogenic facultative autotrophs and can...

. 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.
Encyclopedia
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

 and water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation
Fermentation
Fermentation may refer to:* Fermentation , the use of fermentation in food preparation* Fermentation , a metabolic process whereby electrons released from nutrients are ultimately transferred to molecules obtained from the breakdown of those same nutrients* Fermentation , the process of...

 of ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 by acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria are bacteria that derive their energy from the oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid during fermentation. They are Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. Not to be confused with the genus Acetobacterium which are anaerobic homoacetogenic facultative autotrophs and can...

. 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. 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
Turbine
A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.The simplest turbines have one moving part, a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades, or the blades react to the flow, so that they move and...

 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.

Malt

Malt vinegar is made by malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

ing barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, causing the starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 in the grain to turn to maltose
Maltose
Maltose , or malt sugar, is a disaccharide formed from two units of glucose joined with an αbond, formed from a condensation reaction. The isomer "isomaltose" has two glucose molecules linked through an α bond. Maltose is the second member of an important biochemical series of glucose chains....

. Then an ale
Ale
Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. The yeast will ferment the beer quickly, giving it a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste...

 is brewed
Brewing
Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BCE, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt...

 from the maltose and allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged. It is typically light brown in color.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, salt and malt vinegar is a traditional seasoning for chips
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

 and crisps.

Wine

Wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 vinegar is made from red or white wine, and is the most commonly used vinegar in Mediterranean countries and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western 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. More expensive wine vinegars are made from individual varieties of wine, such as Champagne, sherry
Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar is a gourmet wine vinegar made from Sherry. It is produced in the Spanish province of Cádiz and inside the triangular area between the city of Jerez de la Frontera and towns of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María, known as the "sherry triangle".To be called vinagre de...

, or pinot grigio
Pinot Gris
Pinot gris is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir grape, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance...

.

Sherry vinegar

Production of sherry vinegar
Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar is a gourmet wine vinegar made from Sherry. It is produced in the Spanish province of Cádiz and inside the triangular area between the city of Jerez de la Frontera and towns of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María, known as the "sherry triangle".To be called vinagre de...

 is linked to the production of wines of Jerez. The vinegar is made exclusively from the acetic fermentation of Sherry
Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez , Spain. In Spanish, it is called vino de Jerez....

 wines; the taste of this vinegar is stronger than wine. The resulting color of this vinegar is dark mahogany, it's concentrated and has generous aromas; the nose will notice the hue of wood. Sherry vinegar is ideal for vinaigrettes and salad dressings and for flavoring various foods.

There is evidence of its existence back in the first century after Christ, in the writings of Cadiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 wiseman Columella. It is currently presented with quality products certified by the government of Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

 and its production is regulated by the Consejo Regular del Vino y Brandy de Jerez (Council regulating the production of Jerez wine and brandy). Two types are found: Vinagre de Jerez, which is aged for six months or Vinagre de Jerez Reserva, which is aged for a minimum of two years (although the Council allows to specify the age if this is greater, and vinegar 20 or 30 years can old be found).

Apple cider

Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber color...

, otherwise known simply as cider vinegar or ACV, is made from cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

 or apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

 must
Must
Must is freshly pressed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace; it typically makes up 7%–23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking...

, and has a brownish-yellow color. It often is sold unfiltered and unpasteurized with the mother of vinegar
Mother of vinegar
Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti (a New Latin expression, from the Greek μὑκης (fungus) plus δἐρμα (skin), and the Latin aceti (of the acid) - is a substance composed of a form of...

 present, as a natural product. Because of its acidity, apple cider vinegar may be very harsh, even burning, to the throat. If taken straight, (as opposed to used 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 burn
Chemical burn
A chemical burn occurs when living tissue is exposed to a corrosive substance such as a strong acid or base. Chemical burns follow standard burn classification and may cause extensive tissue damage. The main types of irritant and/or corrosive products are: acids, bases, oxidizers, solvents,...

s of the throat from apple cider vinegar tablets, but doubt remains as to whether apple cider vinegar was in fact an ingredient in the evaluated products. The pH of apple cider vinegar is typically between pH 4.25 - 5.00 if undiluted.

Fruit

Fruit vinegars are made from fruit wine
Fruit wine
Fruit wines are fermented alcoholic beverages made from a variety of base ingredients ; they may also have additional flavours taken from fruits, flowers, and herbs. This definition is sometimes broadened to include any fermented alcoholic beverage except beer...

s, usually without any additional flavoring. Common flavors of fruit vinegar include apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

, blackcurrant
Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum, is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia, and is a perennial....

, raspberry
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

, quince
Quince
The quince , or Cydonia oblonga, is the sole member of the genus Cydonia and native to warm-temperate southwest Asia in the Caucasus region...

, and tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

. 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 nonfruit vinegars which are infused with fruits or fruit flavors). Several varieties, however, also are produced in Asia. Persimmon
Persimmon
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family . The word Diospyros means "the fire of Zeus" in ancient Greek. As a tree, it is a perennial plant...

 vinegar, called gam sikcho (감식초), is popular in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. Jujube
Jujube
Ziziphus zizyphus , commonly called jujube , red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily as a fruiting shade tree.-Distribution:Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation,...

 vinegar photo, called zaocu or hongzaocu , and wolfberry
Wolfberry
Wolfberry, commercially called goji berry, is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum and L. chinense , two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae...

 vinegar photo, called gouqicu , are produced in China.

Jamun sirka (Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

: जामुन सिरका), a vinegar produced from the jamun (or rose apple
Jambul
Jambul is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. Jambul is native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia...

) fruit in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, is considered to be medicinally valuable for stomach, spleen and diabetic ailments.

Balsamic

Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is a condiment originating from Italy.The original traditional product , made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice and not a vinegar in the usual sense, has been made in Modena and Reggio Emilia since the Middle Ages: the production of the balsamic vinegar is...

 is an aromatic, aged type of vinegar traditionally crafted in the Modena
Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

 and Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is an affluent city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 170,000 inhabitants and is the main comune of the Province of Reggio Emilia....

 provinces of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 from the concentrated juice, or must
Must
Must is freshly pressed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace; it typically makes up 7%–23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking...

, of white grapes (typically of the Trebbiano
Trebbiano
Trebbiano is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It gives good yields, but makes undistinguished wine at best. It can be fresh and fruity, but does not keep long. Its high acidity makes it important in Cognac production...

 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 to only the Italian upper classes, a cheaper form of balsamic vinegar became widely known and available around the world in the late 20th century. True balsamic vinegar (which has Protected Designation of Origin
Protected designation of origin
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

 status) 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 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

Rice vinegar
Rice vinegar
Rice vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.-Chinese:Chinese rice vinegars are stronger than Japanese ones, and range in colour from clear to various shades of red and brown...

 is most popular in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. It is available in "white" (light yellow), red, and black varieties. The Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese 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 China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and it is also widely used in other East Asian countries.

White rice vinegar has a mild acidity with a somewhat "flat" and uncomplex flavor. Some varieties of rice vinegar are sweetened or otherwise seasoned with spices or other added flavorings.

Coconut

Coconut vinegar, made from fermented coconut water
Coconut water
Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts . As the fruit matures, the coconut water is gradually replaced by the coconut meat and air. A very young coconut has very little meat; the meat that it has is very tender, almost a gel...

, is used extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine (particularly in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, major producers, where it is called suka ng niyog or vinakiri), 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, made from the fermented sap from flower clusters of the nipa palm
Nypa fruticans
Nypa fruticans, known as the attap palm , nipa palm , and mangrove palm or buah atap , buah nipah , dừa nước , Ging Pol in Sinhala in Sri Lanka and gol pata , dani . It is the only palm considered a mangrove in the Mangroves Biome...

 (also called attap palm), is used most often in the Philippines, where it is produced, and where it is called sukang paombong. Its pH is between five and six.

Cane

Cane vinegar, made from sugarcane juice
Sugarcane juice
Sugarcane juice is the juice extracted from pressed sugarcane. It is consumed as a beverage worldwide, and especially in regions where sugarcane is commercially grown such as Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Latin America....

, is most popular in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, in particular, the Ilocos Region
Ilocos Region
The Ilocos region or Region I is a Region of the Philippines and is located in the northwest of Luzon. It borders to the east the regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley and to the south the region of Central Luzon...

 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 (Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

 for "sour vinegar").

Cane vinegars from Ilocos also varies in two different types: basi (sweet) and suka (sour). The sweet vinegar is used as a wine in Ilokanos, while the other type of vinegar is used as a seasoning and preservative.

A white variation has become quite popular in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 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

Vinegar made from raisin
Raisin
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing...

s, called ( "grape vinegar") is used in cuisines of the Middle East, and is produced there. It is cloudy and medium brown in color, with a mild flavor.

Beer

Vinegar made from beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 is produced in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Although its flavor depends on the particular type of beer from which it is made, it is often described as having a malty taste. That produced in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 is a light golden color with a very sharp and not-overly-complex flavor.

Honey

Vinegar made from honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

 is rare, although commercially available honey vinegars are produced in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

.

East Asian black

Chinese black vinegar
Rice vinegar
Rice vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.-Chinese:Chinese rice vinegars are stronger than Japanese ones, and range in colour from clear to various shades of red and brown...

 is an aged product made from rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

, sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, or a combination thereof. It has an inky black color and a complex, malty flavor. There is no fixed recipe, so 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
Zhenjiang
Zhenjiang is a prefecture-level city in the southwest of Jiangsu province in the eastern People's Republic of China . Sitting on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the west, Changzhou to the east, and Yangzhou across the river to the north.Once...

, in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

, China and also is produced in Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 and Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

.
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 it contains high concentrations of amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

s. Recent research on kurozu has revealed its anticancer properties in vivo on rats and in vitro on human cancer cells.

Flavored vinegars

Popular fruit-flavored vinegars include those infused with whole raspberries
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

, blueberries
Blueberry
Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

, or fig
Ficus
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

s (or else from flavorings derived from these fruits). Some of the more exotic fruit-flavored vinegars include blood orange
Blood orange
The blood orange is a variety of orange with crimson, blood-colored flesh. The fruit is smaller than an average orange; its skin is usually pitted, but can be smooth. The distinctive dark flesh color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but...

 and pear
Pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

.

Herb vinegars are flavored with herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s, most commonly Mediterranean herbs, such as thyme
Thyme
Thyme is a culinary and medicinal herb of the genus Thymus.-History:Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage...

, tarragon or oregano
Oregano
Oregano – scientifically named Origanum vulgare by Carolus Linnaeus – is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family . It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall,...

. 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
Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country...

 origin, and is made from rice wine, sugar and herbs, including ginger, cloves, and other spices.

Job's tears

In Japan, an aged vinegar also is made from Job's tears
Job's Tears
Job's Tears , Coixseed, Tear Grass, adlay, or adlai, is a tall grain-bearing tropical plant of the family Poaceae native to Southeast Asia but elsewhere cultivated in gardens as an annual. It has been naturalized in the southern United States and the New World tropics...

, a tall, grain-bearing, tropical plant. The vinegar is similar in flavor to rice vinegar.

Kombucha

Kombucha vinegar is made from kombucha
Kombucha
Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often drunk for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred...

, 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
Vinaigrette
The word vinaigrette or vinegarette can refer to:*Vinaigrette, the salad dressing or sauce...

, and is flavored by adding strawberries, blackberries, mint, or blueberries at the beginning of fermentation.

Kiwifruit

A byproduct of commercial kiwifruit
Kiwifruit
The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a cultivar group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia....

 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 since, at least, the early 1990s, and in China in 2008.

Sinamak

A variation of cane vinegar from the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 (sukang maasim) is called sinamak which is simply a spiced version that mixes the cane vinegar with siling labuyo, onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

s and garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

.

Distilled vinegar

Any type of vinegar may be distilled to produce a colorless solution of about 5% to 8% acetic acid in water. This is variously known as distilled spirit or "virgin" vinegar, or white vinegar, and is used for medicinal, laboratory and cleaning purposes, as well as in cooking, baking, meat preservation, and pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

. The most common starting material, because of its low cost, is malt vinegar.

Spirit vinegar

The term 'spirit vinegar' is sometimes reserved for the stronger variety (5% to 20% acetic acid) made from sugar cane or from chemically produced acetic acid.

Culinary uses

Vinegar is commonly used in food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 preparation, particularly in pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

 processes, vinaigrette
Vinaigrette
The word vinaigrette or vinegarette can refer to:*Vinaigrette, the salad dressing or sauce...

s, and other salad dressings. It is an ingredient in sauces such as mustard
Mustard (condiment)
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant...

, ketchup
Ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

, and mayonnaise
Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise, , often abbreviated as mayo, is a sauce. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale...

. Vinegar is sometimes used while making chutney
Chutney
Chutney is a a condiment used in South Asian cuisine that usually contains a spice and vegetable mix.Chutneys are wet or dry, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. At least several...

s. It is often used as a condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

. Marinades often contain vinegar.
  • Condiment for beetroot
    Beetroot
    The beetroot, also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet or informally simply as beet, is one of the many cultivated varieties of beets and arguably the most commonly encountered variety in North America, Central America and Britain.-Consumption:The usually deep-red roots of beetroot are...

     — cold, cooked beetroot is commonly eaten with vinegar
  • Condiment for fish and chips
    Fish and chips
    Fish and chips is a popular take-away food in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada...

     — in the Britain
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     and Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    , salt and malt vinegar (or non-brewed condiment
    Non-brewed condiment
    Non-brewed condiment is a vinegar substitute created with water, acetic acid, flavourings and caramel colour.It is used widely at fish and chip shops through the United Kingdom instead of malt vinegar.- Origin of the term 'Non-brewed condiment' :...

    ) is sprinkled on chips.
  • Flavoring for potato chips — many American, Canadian and British manufacturers of packaged potato chips and crisps feature a variety flavored with vinegar and salt.
  • Vinegar pie — a North American variant on the dessert
    Dessert
    In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

     called chess pie
    Chess pie
    Chess pie is a particularly sugary dessert characteristic of Southern U.S. cuisine. According to James Beard's American Cookery chess pie was brought from England originally, and was found in New England as well as Virginia...

    . It is flavored with a small amount of cider vinegar and some versions also contain raisins, spices and sour cream.
  • Pickling — any vinegar can be used to pickle
    Pickling
    Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

     foods.
  • Cider vinegar and sauces — cider vinegar usually is not suitable for use in delicate sauces.
  • Apple cider vinegar - Usually placed on the table in small bowls or cups so that people can dip their crab meat into it. Also mixed with water and used to steam crabs.
  • Substitute for fresh lemon juice — 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 — 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
    Ginger
    Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

     stew
    Stew
    A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables , meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used...

     which is made among Chinese people of Cantonese backgrounds to celebrate the arrival of a new child.
  • Sushi
    Sushi
    is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice combined with other ingredients . Neta and forms of sushi presentation vary, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is shari...

     rice — Japanese use rice vinegar
    Rice vinegar
    Rice vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.-Chinese:Chinese rice vinegars are stronger than Japanese ones, and range in colour from clear to various shades of red and brown...

     as an essential ingredient for sushi rice.
  • Red vinegar — Sometimes used in Chinese soups
  • Flavoring — used in the Southern U.S. to flavor collard greens
    Collard greens
    Collard greens are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea , the same species as cabbage and broccoli. The plant is grown for its large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro,...

    , green beans, black-eyed peas, or cabbage
    Cabbage
    Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

     to taste.
  • Commonly put into mint sauce
    Mint Sauce
    Mint sauce is a sauce traditionally made from finely chopped spearmint leaves, soaked in vinegar, and a small amount of sugar. Occasionally, the juice from a squeezed lime is added. The sauce should have the consistency of double cream...

    , for general palate preference.
  • Vinegar — especially the coconut, cane, or palm variety — is one of the principal ingredients of Philippine cuisine.
  • White vinegar can be used as flavoring in ham and beans

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.

Soothing for sunburns

White vinegar applied as a spray to tissue draped over a sunburn helps restore the lost acidic level to the skin, and gives a cooling effect.

Possible cholesterol and triacylglycerol effects

A 2006 study concluded that a test group of rats fed with acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

 (the main component of vinegar) had "significantly lower values for serum total cholesterol
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a complex isoprenoid. Specifically, it is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes...

 and triacylglycerol" and 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 25 g 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
Glycemic index
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more...

 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.
Daily intake of 15 ml of vinegar (750 mg AcOH) might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.

Antimicrobial use

Vinegar has been used to fight infections since Hippocrates
Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

, who lived between 460-377 BC, prescribed it for curing persistent coughs. As a result, vinegar is popularly believed to be effective against infections.

Researchers at the Food Biotechnology Department, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC) in Seville, Spain, conducted research on the antimicrobial activity of several food products, among them olive oil, and vinegar. The following microorganisms were used in the study: S. aureus, L. monocytogenes, S. Enteritidis, E.coli 0157:H7, S. sonnei and Yersinia sp. Of the products tested, vinegar (5% acetic acid) and olive oil showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested, which was attributed to their high acetic acid content and high phenolic compounds content, respectively.

See cleaning uses for further references regarding antimicrobial use.

Other medicinal uses

Applying vinegar to common jellyfish
Jellyfish
Jellyfish are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. Medusa is another word for jellyfish, and refers to any free-swimming jellyfish stages in the phylum Cnidaria...

 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
Portuguese Man o' War
The Portuguese Man o' War , also known as the Portuguese man-of-war, man-of-war, or bluebottle, is a jelly-like marine invertebrate of the family Physaliidae...

 stings, however, since they are not actually 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. Diluted vinegar can also be used as a hair conditioner and detangler by pouring over wet hair and rinsing. No vinegar smell remains after hair has been rinsed and dried.

Vinegar has been shown ineffective for use against lice but (combined with 60% Salicylic acid) significantly more effective than placebo for the treatment of warts.

Contrary to myth, vinegar cannot be used as a detoxification agent to circumvent urinalysis
Urinalysis
A urinalysis , also known as Routine and Microscopy , is an array of tests performed on urine, and one of the most common methods of medical diagnosis...

 testing for cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

.

Potential hazards

Esophageal
Esophagus
The esophagus is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach...

 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
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

, and other respects. Long-term heavy vinegar ingestion may also cause hypokalemia
Hypokalemia
Hypokalemia or hypokalaemia , also hypopotassemia or hypopotassaemia , refers to the condition in which the concentration of potassium in the blood is low...

, hyperreninemia, and osteoporosis
Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis the bone mineral density is reduced, bone microarchitecture is deteriorating, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone is altered...

.

Cervical cancer 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 diagnosis by inspection possible, reducing in 35% the mortality for early detection against control group.

Vinegar in Islamic medicine

The Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 is reported to have said, "The best of condiments or condiment is vinegar." Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

, in his famous book The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine is an encyclopedia of Galenic medicine in five books compiled by Ibn Sīnā and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time...

, mentions several beneficial medicinal uses for vinegar: it is a powerful clotting agent, it heals burns and skin inflammations, and it relieves headaches caused by heat. He also considers vinegar a good digestive supplement. Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya also mentions the merits of vinegar in his book, Al Tibb al Nabawi (The Prophetic Medicine). In this book, he mentions that wine vinegar helps against gastric inflammation and bile, and prevents the effects of toxic medications and poisonous mushrooms. He also notes that vinegar quenches thirst, acts as an appetite stimulant, and prevents tumors from occurring. It helps the digestion process.

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 UK. Vinegar can be used for polishing brass or bronze. Vinegar is widely known as an effective cleaner of stainless steel and glass.

Vinegar, historically, has been reputed to have strong antibacterial properties. One test by Good Housekeeping's microbiologist found that 5% vinegar is 90% effective against mold and 99.9% effective against bacteria, while another study linked with Clorox and Lysol showed vinegar to be too weak or inconsistent for it to be used effectively as a disinfectant.

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

Herbicide use

Vinegar can be used as an herbicide
Herbicide
Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic "imitations" of plant...

. Acetic acid is not absorbed into root systems; the vinegar will kill top growth, but perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

s will reshoot.

Most commercial vinegar solutions available to consumers for household use do not exceed 5%. Stronger solutions are available from some retailers, but it should be noted that solutions of 10% and above require careful handling, because they are corrosive and damaging to the skin.

Miscellaneous

When a bottle of vinegar is opened, mother of vinegar
Mother of vinegar
Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti Mother of vinegar - also called Mycoderma aceti (a New Latin expression, from the Greek μὑκης (fungus) plus δἐρμα (skin), and the Latin aceti (of the acid) - is a substance composed of a form of...

 may develop. It is considered harmless and can be removed by filtering.

Vinegar eels (Turbatrix aceti), a form of nematode
Nematode
The nematodes or roundworms are the most diverse phylum of pseudocoelomates, and one of the most diverse of all animals. Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. It has been estimated that the total number 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
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

 (baking soda), it produces a volatile mixture which rapidly decomposes into water, carbon dioxide and sodium acetate
Sodium acetate
Sodium acetate, CH3COONa, also abbreviated NaOAc, also sodium ethanoate, is the sodium salt of acetic acid. This colourless salt has a wide range of uses.-Industrial:...

, which makes the reaction fizz
Effervescence (chemistry)
Effervescence is the escape of gas from an aqueous solution and the foaming or fizzing that results from a release of the gas. The word effervescence is derived from the Latin verb fervere preceded by the adverb ex, which means to boil...

. 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
Posca
Posca is a fictional character in the HBO/BBC2 original television series Rome, played by Nicholas Woodeson. He is the body slave of Julius Caesar, yet is also his friend, aide-de-camp, and confidante in most things personal and professional...

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

According to legend, in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 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
Four Thieves Vinegar
Four Thieves Vinegar is a concoction of vinegar infused with herbs, spices or garlic that was believed to protect users from the plague...

, have been passed down for hundreds of years and are a staple of New Orleans hoodoo practices.

Diluted vinegar can be used as a homemade stop bath
Stop bath
Stop bath is a chemical bath usually used in processing traditional black-and-white photographic films, plates, and paper used after the material has finished developing. The purpose of the stop bath is to halt the development of the film, plate, or paper by either washing off the developing...

 during photographic processing
Photographic processing
Photographic processing is the chemical means by which photographic film and paper is treated after photographic exposure to produce a negative or positive image...

.

Vinegar (acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

) is sometimes used in place of fruit juice (citric acid
Citric acid
Citric acid is a weak organic acid. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks...

) or muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

) to convert freebase cocaine into Cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

acetate
, which is a salt form readily soluble in water, in stark contrast to the freebase form.

External links

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