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.

Know More
What is vinegar?
Credit: De Agostini Editorial De Agostini Getty Images

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.

Learn more about Food Facts

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is vinegar made up of?

    A:

    Vinegar can be made from any fruit, but the most common ingredient is grapes. The fruit is fermented with the addition of a microorganism like yeast, which turns the sugars in the fruit into alcohol. To make vinegar, a second group of bacteria known as Acetobacter turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which is another name for vinegar.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is too much vinegar unhealthy?

    A:

    Consumption of excessive amounts of vinegar is unhealthy. It is a relatively strong acid, and can irritate the throat and stomach, damage tooth enamel, weaken bones, and strain the kidneys.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What would happen if you drank vinegar?

    A:

    Depending on how much vinegar you drink, the vinegar might do nothing or make you nauseous, but it can be lethal in extremely high doses. There are several different types of vinegar, and some of them are actually beneficial in small amounts. However, large amounts of vinegar increase the amount of acid in the stomach, causing nausea or vomiting, and lowering pH levels.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does vinegar come from ?

    A:

    Vinegar is created through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. When a slow fermentation method is used, the process takes anywhere from two months to a year. With a quick fermentation process, typically used for commercial vinegars, a bacterial culture called "mother of vinegar" is added to the ethanol liquid, and then air is added. Vinegar can be made this way in as little as 20 hours.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore