Apple Cider Vinegar is a popular ingredient in the kitchen: it can be used to cook, bake, make dressings, or as a flavorful addition in drinks. Whether you are making your own Apple Cider Vinegar or buying it, you have likely never finished an entire bottle as it is only used in small quantities due to its high acidity.
This might make you wonder: Can you still use the bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar even if it has stood around a long time? Does Apple Cider Vinegar go bad? In this article, we will talk about how Apple Cider Vinegar is made, and answer the question: how long does Apple Cider Vinegar last? We will also provide you with tips on how to properly store it, so make sure to read it until the end.
1. How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
As we all know, Apple Cider Vinegar is made through the fermentation of fresh apples. It is high in multiple nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which are known to have numerous benefits on both the body and mind. Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to help with obesity and boost weight loss, treat type 2 diabetes, balance blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and much more.
Some people even use it for hair growth and skin glow. There might not be any scientific evidence to back these up but people’s experiences say a lot.
Not all people are willing to take a daily dose of ACV though, the taste is not very appealing after all. Most people usually use it in cooking thanks to its strong flavor. It’s a versatile ingredient, you can use it in your salad dressings, while baking, or even as a preservative or for pickling vegetables.
You can also dilute its acidity by combining it with other ingredients like maple syrup to add a sweet flavor or olive oil for a mild taste. It is a natural cure-it-all ingredient and a must need in every house! But, can Apple Cider Vinegar spoil? You might notice some changes over time as your ACV will become cloudy with sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Does that mean that it’s expired? Let’s find out.
2. The benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is often used in cooking, but only in small quantities due to its high acidity. It has countless health benefits, which is why people tend to add it to their meals or consume it alone, diluted in water or tea.
You should avoid at all costs consuming a non-diluted shot of ACV, as you can end up eroding the enamel of your teeth, having digestive problems, etc.
By drinking only one cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, you will provide your body with:
- 120 Calories (around 3 calories per tablespoon)
- 0.3 g of Protein
- 28 g of Carbs
- 0.5 g of Fiber
- 24 g of Sugar
It is also rich in many vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, but also other nutrients such as Calcium, Potassium, and Iron.
Some of the many benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar are:
Losing weight and helping with obesity: consuming Apple Cider Vinegar as part of a successful diet will boost its benefits and help you lose weight quickly. ACV is not a magical ingredient that will burn fat instantly, it only works when joined to efficient meal and workout plans.
- Lowering blood sugar levels: since a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar contains only 3 calories, it is ideal to be consumed by patients with type 2 diabetes. It will also help them enhance insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels especially during a high-carb meal.
- Killing bacteria: Apple Cider Vinegar will provide your body with good bacteria and get rid of the harmful ones. This is also why it is used as a disinfectant for the house as it kills an important number of bacteria. It can also be used to preserve natural foods and extend their shelf life.
- Improving heart health: In addition to lowering blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol, Apple Cider Vinegar will also reduce the risk of catching heart diseases and boost your heart health as well as your overall health.
3. How Long Can You Keep Apple Cider Vinegar?
Even though your Apple Cider Vinegar will change over time, that does not necessarily mean that it has expired. The shelf life of the Apple Cider Vinegar that you buy from the supermarket is between two and five years since it has artificial ingredients added to it. However, natural ACV will always be safe to consume no matter how long you’ve been keeping it; the shelf life of Apple Cider Vinegar can be considered infinite.
Once you understand the process of fermentation, you won’t find this as surprising anymore. Just like wine, Apple Cider Vinegar goes through a fermentation where the natural sugars are broken down and turned into alcohol. However, ACV goes through a second fermentation to become vinegar.
This is what makes wines and fermented products get better with age. Their acidity gets rid of all bad bacteria and leaves the good ones to create a healthy and self-preserving environment.
Not to mention that the sediments forming in the bottom are nothing but a substance called “ACV the mother”, which is very high in probiotics, giving ACV most of its health benefits. You can even notice the difference in prices: raw Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is always more expensive than pasteurized ones.
So, even though it might look gross and give you the idea that your ACV is spoiled, you shouldn’t worry about the ACV Mother. All you have to do is shake the liquid and redistribute it throughout the bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar before consuming it.
That said, if you store Apple Cider Vinegar improperly, it might go bad and lose its quality and benefits. Does that mean that ACV expires?
4. Does Apple Cider Vinegar Expire?
As we mentioned above, Apple Cider Vinegar does not expire but can lose its quality over time. Consuming it will always be safe though. Actually, fermented liquids might actually become safer to consume after their mentioned expiration date. The process of fermentation will constantly make sure to kill the harmful bacteria so you have nothing to worry about!
ACV bought from supermarkets has an expiration date that stands for “best when used before” and has nothing to do with safety or its actual shelf life.
So, the answer to how long does Apple Cider Vinegar last? We can round up and say that it lasts around 2 years as it’s the average amount of time where ACV keeps its best quality, but only if stored the proper way.
On the other hand, the downside of Apple Cider Vinegar getting old is that its taste will get more acidic over time, which might ruin your recipes. However, you can always use it to clean your house thanks to its antibacterial properties, so no reason for it to go to waste.
5. Does Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
The proper way to store Apple Cider Vinegar does not consist of refrigerating it. Apple Cider Vinegar will not go bad if you keep the bottle tightly closed after opening it, and put it in a cool dark place and away from any light or heat source. This will protect the mother from losing its quality and health benefits, and stop any outsider contaminants from impacting it.
However, and even though refrigerating Apple Cider Vinegar will not prolong its shelf life, this does not prevent you from doing it. If you like to consume it cold, go for it!
In conclusion, the benefits you will provide your body with while drinking Apple Cider Vinegar are countless. Does Apple Cider Vinegar go bad? The answer is no, there will never be a good reason to toss a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar. First of all, it will always be safe to consume past its expiration date, even though its look and taste will slightly change, but there will always be a way to use it. Make sure to keep it in a dark and cool place, with the bottle carefully closed, so its quality does not decrease over time. If the taste becomes too sour to cook with, you can always use it to clean your shelves and furniture, as you’ll never find its antibacterial properties in any of the cleaning products. Natural products always win!
We hope the information we provided was useful and that you enjoyed reading our article. How long do you keep your Apple Cider Vinegar? Let us know in the comments.
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