Vinegar is a sour-tasting liquid used as a leavening agent, pH regulator, acidulant, preservative, antimicrobial agent and dough improver

Vinegar

Also known as acetic acid or ethanoic acid


What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is a sour-tasting liquid used as a leavening agent, pH regulator, acidulant, preservative, antimicrobial agent and dough improver.1,2

Molasses and alcohols from cereals, grains, and fruits are the basic substrates for making vinegars. The production process depends on the raw material, desired yield, or duration of fermentation. Types of commercially available vinegars:

  • White from grain alcohol
  • Brown from apple cider
  • Balsamic from grape must

Origin

The word vinegar comes from the Old french expression “vin agre” which means sour wine.3 Production of vinegar was practiced thousands of years ago as evidenced by the traces found in Egyptian urns dating to 3000 BC. Its production by fermentation processes was discovered by the French Chemist, Louis Pasteur, in 1864. 3

Function

Vinegar may have several functions in baked goods:2

  • Leavening agent: aids in leavening when used with a base (baking powder) to produce carbon dioxide.
  • Acidulant: decreases pH aiding in meringue stabilization.
  • Antimicrobial agent or preservative: helps control mold and bacterial growth by reducing the pH.
  • Dough improver: improves extensibility and stretchiness of the gluten network.
  • Sanitizing agent: used in sanitizing operations of stainless steel equipment.

Nutrition

Typical nutritional profile of commercially available fruit vinegar per 100 g:

Component Units
Water 73 - 98 %
Total Solids 2 - 27 %
pH 2.5 - 3.6 %

Commercial production

Vinegar is made by Acetobacter acetii fermentation of alcohols. The most commonly used method is submerged fermentation:3

  • Conditioning: alcohol is placed in a heated stainless steel tank fitted with an aerator with continuous oxygen stream pumped in.
  • Fermentation: Nutrients are added to the tank maintained at 26 -38 oC (80 - 100 oF) to enhance the growth of Acetobacter acetii
  • Vinegar production: after several hours alcohol is transformed into vinegar.
  • Filtering: using a plate and frame filtering...

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