03 December 2015

Mother of Vinegar!

Hi Everyone, a post today of information, which has NOTHING to do with cards. However it WILL be of interest to you. This is a photo heavy with an interesting explanation.

A few weeks ago, hubby was refilling our vinegar bottle we put onto the table, when he shouted to me to come and see what had come out of the bottle something horrible and slimy, what was it UGH!
I took a couple of photos of it as we certainly weren't going to keep it! This is it.
This is as it was poured into the sink
This is after it was lifted out of the sink and poked about with!

We inspected the vinegar bottle and it was clear and normal looking. I contacted the Supermarket Customer Serves by email including the photos, I had the usual, we will reply ASAP, but before the reply came a couple of days later, we had a look at the bottle again and there was something growing in it again yuck! An alien had invaded it and it had legs! This time I emailed again with the new extra photos and the previous photos.

Growth with legs?

New growth shaken
I soon had a telephone call from the Customer Service team who were quite concerned and requested I take it back to the store with a reference number, Which I did. I was told the results could take a month for the laboratory to check it out.

A couple of weeks later I had this email. -

I am sorry for the delay in replying.

I have spoken to our food safety team and they have confirmed that this is 'mother of vinegar' please find some information they have provided below;

Mother of vinegar
[1] is a substance composed of a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar. Mother of vinegar is also known as Mycoderma aceti, a New Latin expression, from the Greek ????? (fungus) plus ????? (skin), and the Latin aceti (of the acid).

[2] The naming of the bacteria has been rather fluid due to its original identification near the inception of bacteriology. Currently, the preferred naming is Acetobacter. [3]

Mother of vinegar can also form in store-bought vinegar if there is some non-fermented sugar and/or alcohol contained in the vinegar. This is more common in unpasteurized vinegar. While not appetizing in appearance, mother of vinegar is completely harmless and the surrounding vinegar does not have to be discarded because of it. It can be filtered out using a coffee filter, used to start a bottle of vinegar, or simply ignored.

I hope that this doesn't put you off shopping with us, I have popped a voucher in the post which I hope you will use to treat yourself when you next shop with us.

Kind regards

I have never seen anything like it and thought it may help anyone who may come across it.  I hope you found it as fascinating as I did.


Squirrel x said...

Well, I'll be honest, that's enough to put you off vinegar for life! When I was a kid and there were little bits floating in an old bottle, my parents used to call them mothers (so it's obviously not a new term), but I have never seen anything like that before. Are you going to let it audition for Dr Who or take it out for walks? Hugs xx

Sue said...

I have not come across this before as vinegar last no time in this house.Good to know Faith,hugs xx

Pamellia said...

I have to say Faith, how entirely grossed out I am, and also completely intrigued by this whole thing!! I've never seen anything like that before and thank goodness...that's the type of thing that would put off vinegar permanently!! Glad they got back to you about what it was though, at least you know now. hugs :)

Shona Erlenborn said...

When we lived in Italy, our landlord used his own vinegar "mother" (which he had for years) to make his own vinegar which he would then share with us. You could start your own line of specialty vinegar now Faith!

Dr Sonia S V said...

This is so interesting Faith and so nice of the shop to look into it in a proper manner and send you a voucher too
Dr Sonia

Hetty said...

Very interresting, Faith. Never heard of this. It took them a long time to get back to you.
Do you still shop there?

Pat K said...

Great information Faith. I too have experienced "mother" in a bottle of balsamic vinegar which I promptly disposed of and vowed never to purchase that particular brand again. And yes it did gross me out! xx

Anonymous said...

Wow -- who knew?!? Thanks for sharing this, Faith!

NanaConnie said...

I had the sane thing several years ago in some store bought vinegar but the explanation I got wasn't nearly as clear and concise as this. Thanks for the info, Faith. :-D

Jacee said...

Crikey, I'll be checking vinegar both in my cupboard and before I buy it from now on Faith, urgh, harmless or not, it's not what you want to be shaking onto your chips!!!
Hugs Jacee
Simply Paper Card Design