Where does apple cider vinegar come from?
In the brief guide, we are going to answer the question ‘Where does apple cider vinegar come from’ with a detailed analysis of what safety measures are to keep in mind when using them in our daily routine.
Where does apple cider vinegar come from?
Apple cider vinegar is derived from apples that are crushed, distilled, and fermented. The production process involves a biotechnological method known as double fermentation, which includes both alcoholic and acetic fermentation.
To initiate the production of acetic acid, the apple wine undergoes alcoholic fermentation by using yeast. This step allows the necessary alcohol to be produced, which serves as a precursor for acetic acid formation. (1)
How to make apple cider vinegar?
The fermentation process starts by placing the fermented apple juice in a vessel with a high diameter-to-height ratio. After approximately seven days, the liquid is transferred to another vessel. During this time, acetic fermentation is initiated, primarily occurring at the liquid’s surface due to its slow nature.
The fermentation period can range from 8 to 14 weeks, depending on factors such as the initial composition of the alcoholic solution, fermentation temperature, microorganism involved, and the liquid-to-air contact surface.
Once the acetic fermentation is considered complete, around 60 to 70% of the original volume of vinegar is extracted from the vessel, which is then replenished with raw materials to repeat the acetic fermentation process, removing the initial phase.
The resulting apple cider vinegar typically has an acidity ranging from 4 to 7%. According to regulations, apple cider vinegar must meet certain standards, including a minimum total acidity of 50g/1000 mL expressed as pure acetic acid and a residual alcohol content of more than 0.5% v/v volume fraction. (1)
For what purpose apple cider vinegar is used?
Apple vinegar has long been used worldwide as a basic seasoning in the preparation and cooking of certain foods, because its sharp taste makes it so useful and versatile. Apple cider vinegar adds a tangy flavor to vegetable and meat products.
It is one of the ingredients of salad dressings and because of its acetic acid content and low pH, it can be used as a preservative for both domestic use and in the food industry.
It is in fact used for the preservation, or pickling, of a wide variety of foods such as vegetables, meat, fish products, and spiced fruits. (2)
What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar offers numerous medicinal benefits and has a nutritional profile similar to that of apples, containing essential vitamins such as B1, B2, C, and B6, along with folic acid and polyphenolic compounds, which are antioxidants found in plants. (3)
Apple cider vinegar can increase feelings of satiety in acute situations and reduce body mass index in chronic conditions (4).
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar makes it effective in killing pathogens. Throughout history, vinegar has been utilized for cleaning and as a disinfectant. It also acts as a preservative, safeguarding foods like pickles against spoilage bacteria (5).
Apple cider vinegar has an impact on blood glucose levels. In healthy individuals, adding vinegar to a meal led to reduced glucose and insulin levels for at least 45 minutes.
For people with type two diabetes, consuming high-carbohydrate meals with vinegar mitigated the subsequent rise in blood glucose levels (3).
Does apple cider vinegar have any side effects?
Apple cider vinegar, due to its acidic nature, can potentially lead to digestive issues.
The presence of acetic acid and other organic acids may irritate the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and bowels, resulting in discomfort, pain, swelling, and even diarrhea. This irritation could worsen existing ulcers and cause nausea.
It’s important to note that consuming excessive amounts of acetic acid can have detrimental effects on tooth enamel. The acid’s prolonged exposure may contribute to tooth decay, which can cause pain and, if left untreated, potentially lead to sepsis.
Certain prescribed medications, including insulin, diuretics, and heart medications, may interact negatively with apple cider vinegar. This interaction poses a risk of low blood potassium levels.
When used topically, apple cider vinegar has the potential to cause burns on the skin and other tissues. The caustic effects of acetic acid on cell membranes can lead to such adverse reactions.
While allergies to apple cider vinegar are reportedly rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions that require medical intervention. (6-8)
How to safely use apple cider vinegar?
To avoid any side effects it is recommended to use and consume apple cider vinegar in moderation. One approach is to dilute the vinegar and drink it gradually throughout the day.
When aiming to protect tooth enamel, it is advised to drink diluted apple cider vinegar using a straw, ensuring it doesn’t come into direct contact with the teeth.
When applying apple cider vinegar topically on the skin, it is essential to closely observe any potential after-effects. If any irritation or adverse reactions occur, it is recommended to discontinue its use immediately.
If an individual already has preexisting digestive issues like Crohn’s disease, ulcers, or colitis, it is advisable to avoid consuming apple cider vinegar altogether. (6, 7)
In the brief guide, we discussed answering the question ‘Where does apple cider vinegar come from’ with a detailed analysis of what safety measures are to keep in mind when using them in our daily routine.
- Adriana Dabija et. al. Study concerning the quality of apple vinegar obtained through classical method. Journal of Agroalimentary Processes and Technologies 20(4), 2014.
- M. Plessi, VINEGAR, Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition), Academic Press, 5996-6004, 2003.
- Akanksha, Singh & Mishra, Sunita. Study About The Nutritional And Medicinal Properties Of Apple Cider Vinegar. 8. 2017.
- Darzi J, Frost GS, Montaser R, Yap J, Robertson MD. Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. Int J Obes (Lond). 38(5):675-81. 2014.
- Yagnik D, Serafin V, J Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep. 8(1):1732. 2018.
- Alexandra Benisek, Brunilda Nazario, Apple Cider Vinegar. WebMD LLC, 2022
- Kathy W. Warwick, Franziska Spritzler, 7 Side Effects of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar, Healthline Media LLC. 2023.
- Pravasi, S. D. Acetic Acid. Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 33–35. 2014.