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Frequently Asked Questions

Manufacturers are required to indicate the common or usual name of each type of vinegar used as an ingredient. If a blend of several types of vinegars is used, all types used should be listed with the product names appearing in order of predominance. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that diluted glacial acetic acid is not vinegar. (Compliance Policy Guide 7120.11)

By using the following formula, vinegar can be diluted to any desired grain strength or acidity. However, to ensure accuracy 6f grain strength it is very important that the finished product be tested for acidity using the standard vinegar titration procedure adopted by The Vinegar Institute.


For example:

To make 50 grain vinegar from 500 gallons of 120 grain vinegar:

500 gallons X 120 grain ~ 60,000

50 grain 50 ~ 1,200 gallons of 50 grain vinegar 1,200 gals.-500 gals. ~ 700 gallons of water to be added

So, if you add 700 gallons of water to 500 gallons of 120 grain vinegar, you will yield 1,200 gallons of 50 grain vinegar.

Pounds, inches, or any other unit of measure may be used in place of gallons. After water is added, the mixture should be agitated thoroughly to ensure uniform dilution prior to final acidity testing.

Manufacturers should be careful not to confuse "grain strength" and "acidity" with the pH value. The pH of vinegar will normally vary over a range of from 2.3 to 3.4, depending on the type of vinegar. White distilled vinegars generally range from pH 2.3 to 2.6, and cider vinegars range from pH 3.0 to 3.3. Vinegar can be used to lower the pH of the finished product to control the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Remember: Vinegar has been demonstrated to be more toxic against microorganisms than other organic acids at the same level of concentration. The grain strength, or acid content of the vinegar, should be considered in determining the amount of vinegar to be used in the finished product. Vinegar can be diluted with tap water to achieve desired acidity levels.
Specialty vinegars make up a category of vinegar products that are formulated or flavored to provide a special or unusual taste when added to foods. Herbal vinegars: Wine or white distilled vinegars are sometimes flavored with the addition of herbs, spices or other seasonings. Popular flavorings are garlic, basil and tarragon - but cinnamon, clove and nutmeg flavored vinegars can be a tasty and aromatic addition to dressings. Fruit vinegars: Fruit or fruit juice can also be infused with wine or white vinegar. Raspberry flavored vinegars, for example, create a sweetened vinegar with a sweet-sour taste. Specialty vinegars are favorites in the gourmet market.

Vinegar is generally shipped in varying grain strengths in 30 to 55 gallon containers, or in tanker trailers. Shipping vinegar in concentrated form provides an advantage in reduced freight costs and storage space requirements, without affecting quality. The amount of concentration of the vinegar is indicated by the grain strength, or grainage. In the U.S., the grain strength is calculated as 10 times the acid content expressed as acetic acid (i.e. 60 grain vinegar = 6% acetic acid and 120 grain = 12% acetic acid). Concentrated vinegars can then be diluted' to desired strength during processing.

Bulk vinegar products in general are not pasteurized but have been filtered to remove extraneous particles. Manufacturers should take precautions not to expose vinegar to air. Cloudiness may result or formation of Mother.

Vinegar containing Mother is not harmful. If vinegar Mother is apparent, the substance can be removed by filtering and the organisms destroyed by heating or sterilization.

All vinegars, if properly handled, are very stable with respect to quality. The shelf life of vinegar can vary somewhat due to the type of vinegar, container, packing method, storage and transportation. White distilled vinegars, if not otherwise contaminated, will remain virtually unchanged for an almost indefinite period. Changes may be observed over time in other vinegars, particularly with respect to color and clarity. However, the only effect is an aesthetic one, and the product can still be used with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Manufacturers are required to indicate the common or usual name of each type of vinegar used as an ingredient. If a blend of several types of vinegars is used, all types used should be listed with the product names appearing in order of predominance. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that diluted glacial acetic acid is not vinegar. (Compliance Policy Guide 7120.11)

By using the following formula, vinegar can be diluted to any desired grain strength or acidity. However, to ensure accuracy 6f grain strength it is very important that the finished product be tested for acidity using the standard vinegar titration procedure adopted by The Vinegar Institute.


For example:

To make 50 grain vinegar from 500 gallons of 120 grain vinegar:

500 gallons X 120 grain ~ 60,000

50 grain 50 ~ 1,200 gallons of 50 grain vinegar 1,200 gals.-500 gals. ~ 700 gallons of water to be added

So, if you add 700 gallons of water to 500 gallons of 120 grain vinegar, you will yield 1,200 gallons of 50 grain vinegar.

Pounds, inches, or any other unit of measure may be used in place of gallons. After water is added, the mixture should be agitated thoroughly to ensure uniform dilution prior to final acidity testing.

Manufacturers should be careful not to confuse "grain strength" and "acidity" with the pH value. The pH of vinegar will normally vary over a range of from 2.3 to 3.4, depending on the type of vinegar. White distilled vinegars generally range from pH 2.3 to 2.6, and cider vinegars range from pH 3.0 to 3.3. Vinegar can be used to lower the pH of the finished product to control the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Remember: Vinegar has been demonstrated to be more toxic against microorganisms than other organic acids at the same level of concentration. The grain strength, or acid content of the vinegar, should be considered in determining the amount of vinegar to be used in the finished product. Vinegar can be diluted with tap water to achieve desired acidity levels.
Specialty vinegars make up a category of vinegar products that are formulated or flavored to provide a special or unusual taste when added to foods. Herbal vinegars: Wine or white distilled vinegars are sometimes flavored with the addition of herbs, spices or other seasonings. Popular flavorings are garlic, basil and tarragon - but cinnamon, clove and nutmeg flavored vinegars can be a tasty and aromatic addition to dressings. Fruit vinegars: Fruit or fruit juice can also be infused with wine or white vinegar. Raspberry flavored vinegars, for example, create a sweetened vinegar with a sweet-sour taste. Specialty vinegars are favorites in the gourmet market.

Vinegar is generally shipped in varying grain strengths in 30 to 55 gallon containers, or in tanker trailers. Shipping vinegar in concentrated form provides an advantage in reduced freight costs and storage space requirements, without affecting quality. The amount of concentration of the vinegar is indicated by the grain strength, or grainage. In the U.S., the grain strength is calculated as 10 times the acid content expressed as acetic acid (i.e. 60 grain vinegar = 6% acetic acid and 120 grain = 12% acetic acid). Concentrated vinegars can then be diluted' to desired strength during processing.

Bulk vinegar products in general are not pasteurized but have been filtered to remove extraneous particles. Manufacturers should take precautions not to expose vinegar to air. Cloudiness may result or formation of Mother.

Vinegar containing Mother is not harmful. If vinegar Mother is apparent, the substance can be removed by filtering and the organisms destroyed by heating or sterilization.

All vinegars, if properly handled, are very stable with respect to quality. The shelf life of vinegar can vary somewhat due to the type of vinegar, container, packing method, storage and transportation. White distilled vinegars, if not otherwise contaminated, will remain virtually unchanged for an almost indefinite period. Changes may be observed over time in other vinegars, particularly with respect to color and clarity. However, the only effect is an aesthetic one, and the product can still be used with confidence.

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