vinegar(redirected from acetum)
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vinegar,sour liquid consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, produced by the action of bacteria on dilute solutions of ethyl alcohol derived from previous yeast fermentationfermentation,
process by which the living cell is able to obtain energy through the breakdown of glucose and other simple sugar molecules without requiring oxygen. Fermentation is achieved by somewhat different chemical sequences in different species of organisms.
..... Click the link for more information. . The coloring and flavoring are characteristic of the alcoholic liquor (as cider, beer, wine, fermented fruit juices, solutions of barley malt, hydrolyzed cereals, starches, or sugars) from which the vinegar is made. Vinegar is used as a salad dressing, a preservative, a household remedy to allay irritations, a mild disinfectant, and, in cooking, as a fiber softener. Vinegar has been known from antiquity as a natural byproduct of wine; the name is derived from the French vin aigre [sour wine]. The manufacture as a separate industry began in France in the 17th cent. The wasteful, slow, or natural, process, a spontaneous fermentation in casks half full of beechwood shavings exposed to the atmosphere by bung holes, was superseded in the early 19th cent. by the quick, or generator, method. The generator used in present-day commercial manufacture is usually a tall, truncated cone or vertical, wood tank with a false bottom perforated to admit air that is generally forced through by a blower. The alcoholic solution is allowed to drip through a filling of hard-wood shavings or other material presenting a large surface area. Vinegar made by this method must be aged to remove a natural harshness. It is generally clarified, then pasteurized. Some vinegars are subjected to distillation which removes most of the flavorings other than acetic acid. In another process, the solution is aerated directly by a spinning rotor. The wood shavings are not needed in this case, and the process runs continuously. Acetic fermentation may be impeded by an excessive growth of mother of vinegar, a slimy mass of bacteria, or of the parasitic vinegar eel, a minute, threadlike worm.
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The product of the incomplete oxidation to acetic acid of ethyl alcohol produced by a primary fermentation of vegetable materials; contains not less than 4 grams of acetic acid per gallon; used in preparation of pickled fruits and vegetables and in salad dressing.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
given to Jesus to drink. [N.T.: Matthew 26:34, 48]
See: Passion of Christ
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
a sour-tasting liquid consisting of impure dilute acetic acid, made by oxidation of the ethyl alcohol in beer, wine, or cider. It is used as a condiment or preservative
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005