Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review

Food Chem. 2017 Apr 15:221:1621-1630. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.10.128. Epub 2016 Oct 31.


Vinegars are liquid products produced from the alcoholic and subsequent acetous fermentation of carbohydrate sources. They have been used as remedies in many cultures and have been reported to provide beneficial health effects when consumed regularly. Such benefits are due to various types of polyphenols, micronutrients and other bioactive compounds found in vinegars that contribute to their pharmacological effects, among them, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidative, antiobesity and antihypertensive effects. There are many types of vinegars worldwide, including black vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar and white wine vinegar. All these vinegars are produced using different raw materials, yeast strains and fermentation procedures, thus giving them their own unique tastes and flavours. The main volatile compound in vinegar is acetic acid, which gives vinegar its strong, sour aroma and flavour. Other volatile compounds present in vinegars are mainly alcohols, acids, esters, aldehydes and ketones. The diversity of vinegars allows extensive applications in food.

Keywords: Acetic acid; Alcohol; Bioactive compounds; Composition; Fermentation; Health benefits; Production methods; Vinegar.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / analysis*
  • Alcohols / analysis
  • Aldehydes / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Esters / analysis
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ketones / analysis
  • Micronutrients / analysis
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis
  • Wine / analysis


  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Antioxidants
  • Esters
  • Ketones
  • Micronutrients
  • Polyphenols
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Acetic Acid