Glossary of Foods: Apple Cider Vinegar

glossary of foods header

Apple cider vinegar, also known as cider vinegar or ACV, for short, has long been added to our salad dressings for extra zing and flavor, and it has helped us keep a sparkly clean house as a natural disinfectant and cleaner. It's hard not to love a multi-use, super-duty ingredient like ACV.

apple cider vinegar

Cider vinegar is made using, of course, the cider of apples. It is fermented twice to produce vinegar. The production process first requires the pressing of apples to release the juice. Many producers do not filter the juice. Then, yeast and good-for-you bacteria are added to the juices. This mixture ferments as the yeast turns sugars to alcohol. During the second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted to vinegar by bacteria that produces acetic acid.

Acetic acid gives vinegar its sour, tangy taste. Vinegar is about 3 to 5 percent acetic acid by volume. Unpasturized or organic apple cider vinegar contains mother-of-vinegar which gives it a congealed, cob web-like appearance. The mother-of-vinegar is the acetic acid bacteria and cellulose that is completely harmless.

Lately, you may have heard claims that apple cider vinegar can be used as a miracle weight loss food. Those claims are not well supported by science, according to dietitian Jaclyn London. (via Women's Health Magazine)

Instead of trying apple cider vinegar as a weight loss tool, it may have other health claims that actually work. ACV can help whiten your teeth and make your hair shiny and clean. Also experiment with cider vinegar in your recipes, like pickled vegetables. See this how-to article on pickling your own vegetables.

For a complete list of uses for your apple cider vinegar, check out this Household Hacks post for great ideas.