Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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VinegarVinegar is a sour liquid obtained from the fermentation (occurs when sugar is first converted into alcohol and then the alcohol is turned into vinegar) of alcohol and is used either as a preservative or a condiment. The thick scum sometimes found at the bottom of a vinegar bottle is mother of vinegar, which is a kind of bacteria that helps change the alcohol to acetic acid. Vinegar can be made from any liquid that is able to convert into alcohol in two steps. For example, fruit juice (which contains sugar) is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas by the actions of yeast enzymes. The alcohol that was formed combines with oxygen and then makes acetic acid and water. Several different kinds of vinegar are manufactured because it can be produced from a variety of materials. For example, apples or grapes create wine or cider vinegar, oats or malted barley create malt vinegar, and alcohol creates distilled white vinegar.

As well, there are also vinegars made from sugars, rice, and beer. The meaning of the word vinegar is "sour wine" because vinegar was probably first made from wine.

There are several beneficial uses for vinegar. It is most commonly used to flavour foods and to preserve meat, fish, vegetable, and fruit products. It is frequently used in the pickling of cucumbers and other vegetables. It is also mixed with different seasonings and oils to make salad dressings. There are also many household uses for vinegar. It can remove all sorts of stains, such as, carpet stains, coke stains, coffee stains, tea stains, ketchup stains, and deodorant stains. It is also used in the cleaning of bottles, leather, glassware, wood paneling, dishwashers, and coffee makers. Vinegar can also eliminate odours from cooking, lunch boxes, garbage cans, and any other...