The Many Benefits of Vinegar

Aug 14, 2011
Veronica Brandy

Vinegar-Health-Benefits

The usefulness of vinegar has been known since ancient times.  Its manufacturing process was discovered in the nineteenth century by the famous French biologist Louis Pasteur.  In fact, vinegar comes from a double fermentation conversion of sugar into alcohol (fermentation) and the transformation of alcohol into acetic acid (acetic fermentation).  This transformation is carried out by acetobacterias.

Vinegar, a product with many benefits

The discovery of vinegar was certainly due to chance. Wine, when left exposed to air, becomes ”sour,” which makes vinegar.  The explanation for this phenomenon is now well known: the bacteria suspended in the air falls into the wine and turn the alcohol into acetic acid.  This method is still used by some vinegar producers.  On an industrial scale, bacteria are added to the vats of alcohol to accelerate the fermentation.  Since bacteria are aerobic, they cannot live without oxygen, so oxygen is injected into the tanks.

Vinegar in all its varieties

There are many types of vinegar, depending on the origin of the alcohol used.  The most common and most used is the white vinegar made from alcohol or diluted alcohol from beet juice.  Wine vinegar, as its name implies, results from the fermentation of wine.  All types of wine (white, red, rosé) can be used, but for wine vinegar of good quality, the wine must be reputable.

The city of Orléans is known worldwide for its wine vinegar made in wooden casks. Sherry vinegar, made in Spain, is another popular wine vinegar.  Maturation in oak barrels requires more than a decade, which makes it even better because, like wine, vinegar improves with age.  Another renowned wine vinegar is the balsamic vinegar produced in northern Italy.  This wine holds the absolute record in terms of maturation as the aging period goes up to 50 years.

In Asia, we know about the rice vinegar.  Its manufacturing process is a little tricky because it involves an additional step, the transformation of the rice starch into sugar before fermentation.  In the UK, we use mostly beer vinegar made from malt lager.  Several other substrates can be used to make vinegar- melon, whiskey, honey, coconut, or just sugar.

But the best is undoubtedly the cider vinegar.  This vinegar, made from apples, has exceptional nutritional and healing properties.  The explanation is simple: the apple is rich in protein and carbohydrates.  It also contains many minerals essential for the proper functioning of the body such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium.  In the two fermentation processes, none of these precious items are destroyed, so the cider vinegar keeps all the qualities of the apple.

Vinegar, not just for cooking

In the kitchen, the usefulness of vinegar is well established.  This is the main ingredient in dressings for seasoning various foods such as salads, seafood, or vegetables.  It is also used in the manufacturing of mayonnaise and mustard. Vinegars in general are very good food preservatives.  Vegetables and fruits placed in vinegar can be stored for years provided that the container is well sealed.  Vinegar itself does not deteriorate, simply place it in the dark.

For things related to health and beauty, vinegar is a valuable ally.  To clean the skin, for example, vinegar has the ability to tighten pores.  We can use a lotion with vinegar at the rate of one teaspoon to a pint of water.  For hair, pour a few tablespoons of vinegar in the rinse water to regulate sebum production.

For health, apple cider vinegar wins the prize.  To stay in top form, drink a glass of water every day with two tablespoons of cider vinegar added.  This is the best way to combat constipation, eliminate toxins, stimulate appetite, and help digestion.  It can even help you lose weight by eliminating fat.

For teens, here’s a recipe to fight against acne: heat cider vinegar to a boil, remove the dish from the heat and place the face above it to dilate the pores.  Next, gently rub the skin with cotton wool soaked in hot liquid.  Finish by applying a solution of equal parts of apple cider vinegar and cold water.  This treatment is administered three times a week.

For household chores, white vinegar is the most used.  To clean mirrors and windows, spray with water containing vinegar at the rate of one liter of water for a few tablespoons of white vinegar, and then dry with a soft cloth.  To restore all the brilliance to silverware, just soak them in warm white vinegar.  Similarly, for glasses and dishes, scrub gently with a cloth soaked in white vinegar.

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