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Foods -- General

Could vinegar become a low-acid food?

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Vinegar is an acid food but could become a low acid food if too much plant material is added to it (herbs and garlic). As long as only a sprig or two are added and they become fully acidified throughout and don't change the pH of the original vinegar, then the contents remain an acid food. The problem is that what is a sprig to me may be a branch to someone else. The material must be fully submerged and you should have a way of determining if the pH of the plant material is below 4.6. These conditions and controls have been determined for the commercial manufacture of flavored vinegar but do not exist for the home.

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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