Q:

What is vinegar?

A:

Quick Answer

Vinegar is an acidic liquid made by fermenting any fluid that contains ethanol. Ethanol is found in drinks such as wine, beer, champagne and apple cider.

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What is vinegar?
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Full Answer

According to About.com, bacteria in the form of a culture is introduced into the chosen liquid. The liquid is then fermented, allowing the bacteria to break down the ethanol into byproducts, the main byproduct being acetic acid. Vinegar is usually pasteurized before it is sold to kill off the bacteria that caused fermentation. Vinegar that is not pasteurized is called raw vinegar.

Other substances found in vinegar include vitamins, minerals and flavor compounds. Vinegar is used in cooking for the tart flavor it adds to food.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is vinegar a compound?

    A:

    Vinegar is a compound that is basically acetic acid in water. Oxidizing ethanol produces acetic acid, which has the chemical formula CH3CO2H. It has an official name of ethanoic acid.

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  • Q:

    What neutralizes vinegar?

    A:

    Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid, which is a weak acid, and can be neutralized by adding a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide. In such a neutralization reaction, the pH of the resulting solution is greater than 7, unlike in strong acid and strong base reactions where the pH is close to 7. Acetic acid cannot be completely neutralized by a weak base, such as ammonia.

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  • Q:

    Is vinegar a compound or a mixture?

    A:

    Vinegar is a liquid mixture composed of acetic acid and water. It is produced by fermenting ethanol which causes bacteria to produce acetic acid as a byproduct.

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  • Q:

    Is vinegar an acid or a base?

    A:

    Vinegar is an acid. White vinegar is mostly acetic acid and water. Wine vinegars are made by the acid fermentation of wine, while malt vinegar is made from malt liquor and cider vinegar from cider.

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