Vinegar is a solution containing 4 to 15% acetic acid and flavourings. Acetic acid is an organic acid with a typical, strong smell.
|Production of vinegar|
|Forming of acetic acid|
|Filled oak barrel|
Vinegar is used for the preparation of several sauces, like mayonnaise and mustard, and to preserve vegetables. In the products where it is applied, vinegar softenes the fibrous structures and breaks down the fat, making the product easier to digest.
The pH of vinegar lies between 2 and 3,5, depending on the concentration of the acetic acid. This makes vinegar suitable for preserving products.
There are many types of vinegar, for actually all products that contain sugars can be used as basis. These vinegar types contain, apart from acetic acid, also elements of the raw material. Some well known examples are:
- Apple or cider vinegar
- Wine vinegar (red or white)
- balsamic vinegar: concentrated wine vinegar( ripening time of at least several years in wooden barrels)
- rice vinegar: (red, black or white)
- herb vinegar
- malt vinegar: first starch converted into maltose.
forming of acetic acid by different methods is given below.
air holes. Screens are placed over the air holes to keep bugs out. The barrel still contains 15% of the vinegar produced in the previous cycle, which serves as bacteria culture. The acetic acid bacterium is also by nature present in the air. The fluid is kept at a temperature of 29°C for several months, until the desired acetic acid level has been reached.
filling. An air compressor is used to blow sufficient air towards the product through the perforated bottom and the holes in the side. After a few days or weeks the vinegar reaches the bottom of the vessel with such a high acetic acid level that the vinegar must be diluted to an acetic acid level of 5 to 6%. The so formed vinegar is transported to a storage tank.
oxygen for the acetic acid bacteria and circulates the product over the wood shaving until all alcohol is converted into acetic acid. This process takes place at a constant temperature of 30°C. The formed vinegar is transported to large synthetic barrels to rest and ripe.
case, concentrated alcohol (96%) is mixed with an amount of unpurified vinegar of a previous production and water. In this manner an alcohol solution of 40% is formed, which is then diluted to a solution of 12% in a nutritional tank. Furthermore a nutrient for the acetic acid bacteria is added.
The mixture is pumped to the acetifier. Like before the acetic acid bacteria get sufficient oxygen by air supply, which keeps the content moving as well. The temperature is kept at 28°C. Eventually approximately 12% acetic acid is produced, forming a non-transparent, brown pulp, a concentrated vinegar. A part of this vinegar is re-used in the mix tank.
Stainless steel plates are used to press the vinegar through paper filters and remove sediment, usually 3% of the product.
To produce organic vinegar, a clarification tank is used. The sedimentation process is accelerated by adding a flocculant, like bentonite. Next the liquid on top is drained leaving appr. 30 cm above the bottom, after which the last insoluble particles are removed by means of ultrafiltration. The so produced bulk vinegar is either sold as bulk or diluted to an acetic acid level of 4%.
boiling temperature. The produced vapour is brought in a condenser, after which the condensate can be filled.