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Foods -- General

What makes vinegar cloudy?

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Vinegar, especially cider or wine vinegar, may become cloudy and dark in storage. Cloudiness occurs when iron and tannins in the vinegar combine. Tannins are responsible for the astringent flavor in the vinegar. The reaction is more likely if the vinegar is stored in a clear bottle and is exposed to light. Acidity of the vinegar is not affected by this color reaction. Darkening of vinegar may also just be an effect of age. This slow darkening is the same things as the darkening of fruits with aging. Use as you would normally use vinegar.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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