*How clean is clean?

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Farmhouse Kitchen - www.wendyls.co.nz www.vine­gar­power.co.nz www.huck­le­berry.co.nz www.fig­gyandco.co.nz

Re­search has shown vine­gar is ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing mi­cro­bial con­tam­i­na­tion thanks to its low ph when used undi­luted (around ph 2.0). That’s why it has been so suc­cess­fully used for pre­serv­ing for hun­dreds of years, keep­ing food free from bac­te­rial and fun­gal con­tam­i­na­tion.

Its acid­ity also helps to loosen lime and rust, and dis­solve soap scum. It can also cut through grease, although it would seem more scrub­bing ef­fort is re­quired than for com­mer­cial prod­ucts. It is also a use­ful de­odoriser, but that may de­pend on whether you like the smell of vine­gar in your home.

How­ever, your ev­ery­day cook­ing vine­gar has its lim­i­ta­tions. Its 5% level of acetic acid (the in­gre­di­ent that does the dirty work) can kill bac­te­ria and viruses if used undi­luted and left to sit on a sur­face for 15 min­utes.

It’s far bet­ter to get ‘clean­ing grade’ vine­gar which has an acetic acid level of around 10%. Tests have shown this is just as ef­fec­tive as bleach in killing E coli. Clean­ing grade (or ‘dou­ble strength’) vine­gar is avail­able in NZ on­line, and in stock feed or spe­cial­ist food stores, in­clud­ing:

Note: a 10% or ‘dou­ble strength’ vine­gar can be safely wa­tered down by 50% to use in cook­ing and pre­serv­ing if re­quired.

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