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Old 05-20-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I guess I live in an idealistic world.

I did see this in your linked article: Practically and scientifically, pure ethyl alcohol synthesized from natural gas or petroleum products does not differ from that obtained by fermentation with subsequent distillation. Furthermore, foods in which one is used cannot be distinguished objectively from those in which the other is used.
Yeah, honestly, it probably doesn't make any difference, but I don't like the idea of eating petroleum products. There could be trace differences.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Yeah, honestly, it probably doesn't make any difference, but I don't like the idea of eating petroleum products. There could be trace differences.

Whether it's petroleum distillates, ethyl alcohol or vinegar, it's a combination of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. We are in a carbon-based world. If it's organic, it consists of those three elements. I am not saying it's all the same. I'd consume vinegar but not petroleum distillate.

If they are chemically identical (as the article says with the statement that they are scientifically do not differ) I accept that.

If you take the position that you will not use it for food, "Just to be on the safe side", OK, but I can't agree with that approach.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #13
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I only use white vinegar for cleaning. The alcohol that the vinegar is made from can be a petroleum product.
I was curious about this statement, as I've never heard that before. I found this page (Is That Right? Vinegar Can Come From Petroleum), which says:

"As a practical matter, the FDA spokesperson told [the reporter] in an e-mail that the FDA's not aware of any manufacturers that use petroleum to start their vinegar. And Jeannie Milewski, executive director of the Atlanta-based Vinegar Institute, an international group that represents vinegar manufacturers ... and suppliers to that industry, confirms that "We are not aware of anyone who uses petroleum as a starting material for vinegar."

So while manufacturers *can* use petroleum as a starter for white distilled vinegar, it appears they don't.

Thanks for mentioning that - I learned something new today
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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I was curious about this statement, as I've never heard that before. I found this page (Is That Right? Vinegar Can Come From Petroleum), which says:

"As a practical matter, the FDA spokesperson told [the reporter] in an e-mail that the FDA's not aware of any manufacturers that use petroleum to start their vinegar. And Jeannie Milewski, executive director of the Atlanta-based Vinegar Institute, an international group that represents vinegar manufacturers ... and suppliers to that industry, confirms that "We are not aware of anyone who uses petroleum as a starting material for vinegar."

So while manufacturers *can* use petroleum as a starter for white distilled vinegar, it appears they don't.

Thanks for mentioning that - I learned something new today

Technically speaking, no manufacturers use petroleum to start vinegar. The petroleum is used to manufacture alcohol. The alcohol is used to make the vinegar.

So those statements may be a way of weaseling around the issue.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #15
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I went directly to a knowledgeable source, who has written guidelines for OSHA and dealt with the Federal Guidelines for the purchasing of acids. He writes:

Acetic Acid is a natural fermentation product, and as such is approved for use as a food additive in the U.S. Millions of gallons of vinegar are produced by fermentation annually for the food industry, but a far cheaper process can make it from petroleum feed-stocks, and does so to the tune of several million tons annually. Unfortunately, the FDA does not allow petroleum based acetic acid in our food or drugs even though chemists cannot distinguish between them. Acetic acid can be from either source, but vinegar can only be from fermentation. Vinegar is typically sold as 3% or 5% solution, but is available up to 100%. Percentages greater than 5% are generally not available to the public because of legal liability. Concentrations higher than 5% may be considered "Hazardous Cargo" and would be expensive to ship and prohibitive to display on store shelves. You might be able to get stronger dilutions from a pharmacist. Stronger dilutions would be used in chemical processes for which the petroleum based product is approved. 100% acetic acid is called "Glacial Acetic Acid" because it freezes into a glass-like solid at about 61-62 Fahrenheit. Incidentally, it is one of the few substances which expands on freezing. Another form of acetic acid is called "Acetic Anhydride". It is made by removing one molecule of water from two molecules of acetic acid. It readily absorbs moisture and converts back into acetic acid. An interesting use of the anhydride is to dissolve polymethylsiloxane. This solution is sold in caulking gun cartridges as "Silicone Sealant". If you ever use silicone sealant or bathtub caulk, provided it is advertised as "Silicone", notice the vinegar smell it produces as it cures.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
I went directly to a knowledgeable source, who has written guidelines for OSHA and dealt with the Federal Guidelines for the purchasing of acids. He writes:

Acetic Acid is a natural fermentation product, and as such is approved for use as a food additive in the U.S. Millions of gallons of vinegar are produced by fermentation annually for the food industry, but a far cheaper process can make it from petroleum feed-stocks, and does so to the tune of several million tons annually. Unfortunately, the FDA does not allow petroleum based acetic acid in our food or drugs even though chemists cannot distinguish between them. Acetic acid can be from either source, but vinegar can only be from fermentation. Vinegar is typically sold as 3% or 5% solution, but is available up to 100%. Percentages greater than 5% are generally not available to the public because of legal liability. Concentrations higher than 5% may be considered "Hazardous Cargo" and would be expensive to ship and prohibitive to display on store shelves. You might be able to get stronger dilutions from a pharmacist. Stronger dilutions would be used in chemical processes for which the petroleum based product is approved. 100% acetic acid is called "Glacial Acetic Acid" because it freezes into a glass-like solid at about 61-62 Fahrenheit. Incidentally, it is one of the few substances which expands on freezing. Another form of acetic acid is called "Acetic Anhydride". It is made by removing one molecule of water from two molecules of acetic acid. It readily absorbs moisture and converts back into acetic acid. An interesting use of the anhydride is to dissolve polymethylsiloxane. This solution is sold in caulking gun cartridges as "Silicone Sealant". If you ever use silicone sealant or bathtub caulk, provided it is advertised as "Silicone", notice the vinegar smell it produces as it cures.
Thanks. I find this stuff fascinating.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:16 PM   #17
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Thanks. I find this stuff fascinating.
You're welcome. This is a typical conversation He enjoys it when a question is posed and he gets to teach.
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