8 out of 10 vinegar brands found to be synthetic, says DOST

8 out of 10 vinegar brands found to be synthetic, says DOST

MANILA, Philippines — Eight out of 10 vinegar brands were found to contain fake ingredients, according to a new study released by scientists from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Researchers from the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) found that from more than 360 brands of vinegar in the country, eight out of 10 are made from synthetic acetic acid and not derived from natural sources, supposedly like the common sugarcane or coconut.

PNRI conducted the research by using isotope-based analytical techniques to determine what were the compositions in the vinegars.

“Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products,” PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section head Raymond Sucgang said.

His team’s research project distinguished vinegar and other condiments from natural or plant-based sources from those which obtained from petroleum-based sources.

“One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum by-products, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases,” Sucgang said.

The natural vinegar coming from plants will have traces of carbon with natural radioactivity, unlike those made from synthetic raw material.

The results of the vinegar studies are being submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These will hopefully serve as a basis for the development of the country’s new vinegar standards.

Apart from this, PNRI researchers are also developing isotope analytical techniques for use in detecting synthetic by-products such as  ketchup, fish sauce (patis) and soy sauce (toyo). (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)