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Q & A: Vinegar

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Since vinegar is made up of 97% water and is 3 percent acetic, then are there any other minerals or vitaimns in it?
- Emily
AZ, USA
A:
Well, if vinegar is made up only of that, I'd imagine that you don't get any other vitamins or minerals. Pure, reagent-grade (stuff you get from chemistry lab stockrooms) probably is that pure. Quite possibly also stuff you can get from the grocery store too. I remember hearing that commercial sugar at the grocery store was purer at one point than sugar available at much higher prices from chemical supply firms for university research.

Acetic acid has many uses -- one of which is to use to stop the developing chemicals used to process black-and-white film and black-and-white prints (I am less familiar with color film processing, but possibly the same stuff gets used there). Another is as a household cleaning fluid.

But not all vinegar is intended for those uses. People like to pour it on their salads. So you might find at the grocery store "red wine vinegar" (it'll be reddish), "apple cider vinegar", and possibly many other varieties. These other kinds of vinegar will have other nutrients, but I'll bet they're in nutritionally insignificant amounts. You wouldn't want to use them as photographic chemicals or clean your tables with them, however.

Tom

One thing you can easily taste in many food vinegars is some sugar.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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