Wine vinegar is a product obtained from the acetic fermentation of alcohol. Fermentation takes place thanks to the action of specific aerobic bacteria, including, for example, those of the genus Acetobacter (such as Bacterium aceti, more correctly called Acetobacter aceti). It is a very ancient product. In fact, from the analysis of archaeological finds and some books, it emerged that already at the time of the Egyptians, about 6000 years before the birth of Christ, vinegar was known, produced and used. Hippocrates wrote that the Greek population also used it. However, the application was a little different from the Egyptian one, because the Greeks used it as a medicine. The Romans, on the other hand, already used it as a condiment, or as a preservative, or as a drink. During the Middle Ages its disinfectant power was already known (which was particularly useful during the spread of the plague).
Going into more detail, wine vinegar, like the vinegar produced by the Vogadori brothers, is mainly composed of water. Together with water we also find acetic acid, alcohol, aldehydes and compound ethers. In dilution, free amino acids and mineral salts. The vinegar does not evaporate and does not freeze in the same way as water. The water contained in the vinegar evaporates at 100 ° C. The acetic acid, on the other hand, evaporates at 120 ° C. Wine vinegar freezes at -17 ° C, unlike water which freezes at around 0 ° C.
Food wine vinegar has, on average, a percentage of acetic acid that fluctuates between 5% and 12%. This means that the evaporation point of the product is much more similar to that of water, compared to pure acetic acid.
Wanting to analyze the chemical properties of vinegar, it is possible to find the following nutritional components within it:
- C vitamin
Let’s now analyze the wine vinegar production process. It is produced in barrels, tanks or autoclaves. Inside the containers is stored red wine and a specific biological starter. The compound is constantly ventilated because the microorganisms that generate the fermentation of the wine are of the obligate aerobic type. In fact, the presence of oxygen also favors the growth of wine as the acetobacteria operate in an aerobic environment (a mechanism that we had already found in action when we were talking about techniques on how to store wine to avoid oxidation).
At the beginning, the alcohol content of the liquid is around 8% and 10%. The perfect temperature is 25-30 ° C. In dilution, the action of some electrolytes is very important: phosphorus, calcium, iron and manganese. Thanks to these environmental conditions it develops microbiologically, the dictions allow the microbiological development and the formation of the so-called mycoderma aceti. A layer of bacteria and organic substances very similar to cellulose which, before the product can be put on the market, is filtered to be completely removed.
Wine vinegar uses
In Italy, the best known, appreciated and used vinegar is wine vinegar: white, red and balsamic. A food product with high consumption and impressive diffusion. It is used as a food condiment, for the formulation of many recipes and even as a preservative. The Vogadori Brothers’ Red Wine Vinegar, for example, is ideal for use in combinations with game, red meats, salads with a delicate flavor and sweet and sour wild boar. It is a very fragrant and full-bodied product thanks also to the long aging in oak barrels.
It is also used as a mild antibiotic (bacteriostatic), as a degreaser, stain remover and as an odor eater. Not to mention that wine vinegar is included in the list of additives with the initials E260.
There are also variants of wine vinegar. We are talking about apple cider vinegar or mead. Balsamic vinegar, although less ancient than the classic wine vinegar, is a traditional food product of Italian cuisine, in particular of a region, Emilia Romagna. In fact, vinegar, as we have seen, can be obtained from the fermentation of different raw materials: rice, barley, plums, potatoes, malt, pears, bananas, raspberries, palm sap, sugar cane, coconut milk, pineapple etc …