Vinegar is the drink, which is produced through the fermentation of ethanol (alcohol) of wine, after a long time, without the addition of sugar with the help of acetic bacteria. It consists mainly of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and water.It is used in the kitchen as an cooking ingredient, but historically – as the most readily available mild acid – it has had a wide variety of industrial, medical, and household uses, some of which (such as use as a household cleaner) are still to be applied to date. Commercially vinegar is produced by a fast or slow fermentation process.
In general, slow methods are used for traditional vinegars, the fermentation proceeds slowly and lasts for weeks or even months. The longer fermentation period allows a membrane, which is made up of acetic acid bacteria, to accumulate. This membrane is called “mother of vinegar”.In fast methods, the “vinegar mother” (bacterial culture) is added externally to the liquid, before air is added using a special pump or turbine system to achieve oxygenation and fermentation faster. In fast production processes, vinegar can be produced in a period ranging from 20 hours to three days.
However, even the producers, who knew how to control the manufacturing process, did not know what causes acidification (the conversion of alcohol into acetic acid, which produces vinegar). This remained unclear until 1964, when Pasteur studied the role of enzymes and microorganisms. He discovered that acetic fermentation was caused by the bacterium Mycodermaaceti, which is carried by suspended dust. With the help of this bacterium and in the presence of oxygen in the air, alcohol is converted to acid.
Vinegar is one of the maineffervescent , but also a great preservative for meat, fish, fruits. In ancient times it was for many years the main drink of Roman soldiers, in combination with water. In classical times, in the region of Attica, it was called “Attikonedema”. Finally in the Middle Ages, the producers of vinegar kept secret the methods of its production. Today, vinegar, with the restoration of the Mediterranean diet, regained its place on the table of Greek and foreign consumers.