A Word to Mother
A quick Internet search doesn’t provide a thorough understanding of “mother” of vinegar, so we’ve decided to break it down for you. Continue reading for everything you need (and want) to know about “mother” of vinegar.
Q: What is “mother” of vinegar?
A: The “mother” creates the sour taste of vinegar and is naturally present in all vinegars that are not pasteurized.1 It’s a substance composed of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids. This turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar. Today, most manufacturers pasteurize their vinegar products before bottling to prevent this bacteria from forming the “mother” while on the shelf.
Q: How do I know if “mother” is present?
A: After opening a bottle of vinegar, you may notice “mother” forming. Although it looks slimy and gelatinous, it is completely harmless and does not mean the product is going bad. Simply filter it out (or shake to distribute it) and continue to enjoy the many benefits of vinegar!
Q: Why is “mother” of vinegar important?
A: Vinegar has been long thought to be a powerful substance. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, used it to fight common germs. Today, many people believe “mother” can be used to improve digestion, sooth dry skin (even sunburns!) and control weight. Fans of vinegar use diluted apple cider vinegar to soothe sore throats and as a hair rinse to smooth dull, dry locks.
Q: What can I do with “mother?”
A: The “mother” contains acetobacter, bacteria that helps make vinegar. 2 Essentially, you can add “mother” to wine or cider, let it sit for a few weeks and voila! You have vinegar. There’s more to the process of making your own vinegar, so @click here to learn more.
Q: Is it safe and regulated?
A: Yes, “mother” is a natural-product of vinegar and is safe to consume. For a packaged vinegar to be recognized as a “natural product” by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)3, it must contain a minimum of 4g of acetic acid per 100ml of vinegar. The FDA does acknowledge the presence of “mother” in vinegar to be safe for sale commercially in the United States.
We’d love to know:
- When purchasing vinegar, do you look for a brand that is pasteurized or one that contains the “mother?”
- Have you experienced any benefits from using pasteurized versus non-pasteurized vinegar?