alcohol in vinegar

Does Vinegar Have Alcohol?

Question: Does vinegar have alcohol?

Answer: Alcohol is sometimes hidden in foods which we might suspect do not contain it. Alcohol may be found in desserts, cheeses, sauces, artificial flavoring, and more. This is obviously a concern for some people who wish to avoid alcohol for health, religious, or other reasons. But what about vinegar? Does it contain alcohol?

Vinegar is derived from an alcohol source like wine or fermented fruit. An acetobacter (bacteria known as “mother”) is added to the alcohol, which transforms the alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid and water are the two main ingredients of vinegar. See the video below for a glimpse on how vinegar is made.

While the acetobacter converts nearly all of the alcohol into an acid, there is a trace amount of alcohol that remains in the final vinegar product. You would likely be sick from the pure volume of vinegar consumed before you felt intoxicated from the alcohol in vinegar.

Essentially, the alcohol in vinegar is not a concern for the majority of people. Even people with a strict policy against drinking any alcohol have been known to consume vinegar.