There are many ways to prolong the life of food, and using acetic acid contained in vinegar is one of the most famous preserving methods, and this acetic acid is what makes vinegar the most common seasoning to preserve food.
How does acetic acid (vinegar) work?
Vinegar is often used for preserving food, and this is because vinegar contains “acetic acid”. Most microorganisms, which are the cause of spoiling foods, cannot survive below a certain level of the pH. (It is said that the pH level of the food must be 4 or higher in order for microorganisms to live and grow.
Acetic acid helps to reduce the pH level of the food and makes the environment that microorganisms are not able to live. In addition, acetic acid has strong anti-acid properties, which makes it highly effective in terms of preservation. Therefore, those foods preserved with vinegar, like pickles, have less factors to spoil them and can be preserved for a long time.
(*) pH = hydrogen ion index.(potential hydrogen) A term used to describe the degree of acidity and alkalinity.
Great Combination with Salt
Acetic acid in vinegar works very well with salt. By first removing the water from the food and soaking it in vinegar preserves the food even longer.
Similar to the "salted and dried" method of preserving pickled plums, there are many preserved foods that can be preserved in more than one way at the same time, and the wisdom and experience of our predecessors are used in this way.