Apple Cider Vinegar can be marked as an all-rounder. It is an essential item in our pantry and kitchen that can be used as an antioxidant, treat digestive issues, skin problems, dressing up food items, and preservatives.
Most times, apple cider vinegar is kept at the back of the cabinet, unused and past the expiration date. Making one curious if it is good enough to use or not. Does Apple Cider Vinegar go bad? To understand this, it is vital to know how it is made.
It is made of mashed-up apples. Which are then pasteurized into apple juice or left raw. Then it is left for yeast to ferment the sugar into alcohol. This is a time-consuming process for about 4-6 months. Once the apple cider contains 1-8% of alcohol it passes through the second fermentation process. That converts the alcohol to vinegar which has an important bacteria known as acetobacter. This bacteria turns alcohol into acetic acid which provides apple cider vinegar its acidic properties.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar's Expiration Matter?
To understand if the expiration of apple cider vinegar matters or not, it is necessary to know that vinegar has many types. Some of them can go bad within days and some can last forever.
Another determiner of the health life of vinegar is the way they are stored. If it is stored well, without contaminations you can use it for as long as you want to!
So does expiration matter? Yes, a strange fact apple cider vinegar can be used even past its expiration date. Here are various types of vinegar and their varying expiration if placed in a pantry or a kitchen cabinet:
|(Opened/ Unopened types of Vinegar)
|Apple Cider Vinegar
|Red Wine Vinegar
If you are using apple cider vinegar for dressing your salads and beverages, always check the best-before date on the bottle.
How To Know If Apple Cider Vinegar Has Gone Bad?
If you suspect a tangy feeling from your Apple Cider Vinegar and want to check if it has gone bad, check up on the following indicators.
There are many factors you can look to tell if your apple cider vinegar has gone bad. The first and most important: the expiration date. If it has passed, then move on to other indicators.
If your ACV, has gone bad you will see the flavor and essence becoming more acidic and intense. Take a small sip of your ACV, you will see if you can withstand the acidic nature or not
Fact: Most people don't mind having apple cider vinegar as more acidic!
Look at the Liquid
Once you see visible changes in color and clarity. It is a sign your vinegar is at the start of its bad phase. It will turn slightly darker and cloudy. However, these changes don't necessarily indicate if it has gone bad or not. Sometimes, an unopened bottle for a longer period can also result in it becoming darker and cloudy.
To determine the texture of apple Cider Vinegar, it is important to check if the bottle was sealed correctly. If it wasn't, it may become contaminated by other items which can result in harboring bacteria to grow. An example is forming a lumpy texture. In that case, your apple cider vinegar has gone bad. Time to get a new bottle!
Check the bottom of the bottle
If you see slight sediments forming at the bottom of your bottle, your apple cider vinegar is still good to go but it will expire in no less time. However, if you see large amounts of sediments at the bottom, you must dispose of them.
Note: (Diluting your apple cider vinegar is your biggest enemy!)
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Need To Be Refrigerated?
An interesting fact, Apple Cider Vinegar does not need to be refrigerated even after opening the bottle! But why is that so? Apple Cider Vinegar has high PH levels which help in inhibiting bacterial growth. This results in indefinite shelf life.
However, if you don't like the cloudy and mushy texture over time you can put it in the refrigerator which will delay its aging process. Similarly, if you have diluted your apple cider vinegar, you must put it in the refrigerator in a sealed bottle.
Tip: (Best time frame to use diluted vinegar is within a week of diluting it)
Can You Extend Apple Cider Vinegar Shelf Life?
Usually, the bottle comes up with its "best before" date written on it. It is highly important as it indicates when the essence, value, and uniformity begin to decline.
The shelf life of apple cider vinegar unopened is 2 (two) years and 1 (one) year once you have opened the sealed bottle. However, if stored properly, the shelf life can be 5-6 years after the expiration date.
To extend its shelf life, you can freeze it by putting it in an airtight container. Make sure you leave at least half-inch of headspace as apple cider vinegar expands once frozen.
Inside the refrigerator, apple cider vinegar can last as long as 8-10 months. However, once you de-freeze it using a microwave, you have to use it immediately.
The easiest way to store Apple Cider Vinegar
The best way to store Apple Cider Vinegar is to retain it in its airtight container. Make sure to tightly close the bottle after every use. The exposure to air will result in the deterioration of the liquid because it will be exposed to dust particles.
Since ACV is sensitive to heat, it is recommended to store it in cool, dry places where there is no direct sun contact with the bottle.
Apple Cider Vinegar is considered a self-preservative because of its acidic properties. DO NOT dilute it because it will reduce its acidic properties.
What are the small particles floating in Apple Cider Vinegar?
The small brown particles are referred to as the floating pieces known as “The mother." These are formed from the pectin and apple residues.
What is the difference between White vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar?
To distinguish between the two, look at the color. White vinegar often has a clear color while apple cider vinegar is brown.
What are the side effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?
The side effects include poor potassium levels, bone loss, throat burns, and digestive issues if taken on an empty stomach.
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