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Distilled Vinegar
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9 posts in this topic

For those with gluten issues or those with corn sensitivity issues, here's a bit of information on distilled white vinegar. I don't imagine this will impact a lot of us, really. Most celiacs seem to be fine with this stuff. But for us very sensitive celiacs, there's not as much information available other than: you couldn't possibly react to that because [insert reason here]. So, here's something to add to your knowledge pool.

We have all heard that the grain used in making distilled vinegar can't make it through the distillation process, yeah? Turns out, at least for the major vinegar company I was looking at, they add stuff AFTER distillation.

The beginning is distilled corn alcohol. Then the company adds yeast AFTER distillation and it is never distilled again. The yeast? Well, the company won't give out the information about what company makes their yeast, but here's some information on yeast production.

Yeast is typically fed with some combination of cane molasses, beet molasses, and/or corn steep liquor (which is made by soaking the soluble parts of corn in water). Near the end of the process, it is usually run through a centrifuge and then many yeast companies will add a starch or corn meal to the yeast before drying or putting it into a cake form.

So for someone like me, who reacts pretty badly to gluten cc in every corn product I've ever tried, including the small amounts of corn starch in medication? I can see why I'd have a trouble with this lovely distilled vinegar. Definite minor cc issues for extremely gluten or corn sensitive folks.

Still fine for most celiacs who don't react to this minute an amount. But for those who have reacted and were told that it was all in their heads even though it was a consistent reaction, who were told that it couldn't possibly be the vinegar because that was 'distilled'...

Now you might know why you were having trouble. ;)

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Have you tried Heinz distilled? I can't remember offhand what they use to make it other than that it is not gluten derived. I have no problem with their distilled vinegar in products or plain.

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Shauna, your post is of little help if you don't tell people the name of the company. HOWEVER, I'll also add that regular old yeast is almost universally gluten-free.

richard

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I do believe that I have reacted to distilled vinegar and even apple cider vinegar. When I make my own, I don't react to it. I'm sure that the levels of gluten are much less than 20 ppm so that it is certainly gluten free for all but the most sensitive to low levels.

I also react to products processed in a facility which also process gluten containing grains. I don't see how a distilled (gluten grain) vinegar could possibility be processed in a facility which doesn't also process gluten containing grains, so I'm not much surprised that I react to it.

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Shauna, your post is of little help if you don't tell people the name of the company.

I would tend to disagree that knowledge about a process is not going to be of use. However, to help aid in expanding on my original post, the company I spoke to specifically was Heinz, re: their white distilled vinegar.

HOWEVER, I'll also add that regular old yeast is almost universally gluten-free.

That's true, but considering that I mentioned this information for those who are particularly sensitive to gluten, a legal definition of 'gluten free' isn't as useful. Gluten free medications have too much gluten for me, for example, even while they may be perfectly fine for most celiacs.

The fact that grains and grain derived products are used in the production of yeast is of concern to those of us who react to LESS than what constitutes 'gluten free.' And especially when the yeast is added after distillation.

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I guess I was mystified as to why you didn't name the company to start with to warn extremely highly insensitive folks off the company. As you can see above, ravenwoodglass in fact uses Heinz and has no problems.

This is the only time I've heard of yeast being added. If they add yeast to the vinegar, from what I understand it MUST be listed in the ingredients. Is it? If not, they're either violating the law or you were given incorrect information.

I simply want to add to this for the average person with celiac that something like what is described here is not a concern for making you sick. IF there is somehow some sort of CC in a process like this, the amount would be so tiny as to be unmeasurable.

Bottom line, if you think you have a problem with distilled vinegar even when the vinegar isn't made from wheat (which is virtually ALL the time), then stay away from distilled vinegar. But most of us don't need to fret about it.

richard

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Bottom line, if you think you have a problem with distilled vinegar even when the vinegar isn't made from wheat (which is virtually ALL the time), then stay away from distilled vinegar. But most of us don't need to fret about it.

richard

I agree with Richard. I am about as sensitive as someone can be and if Heinz vinegar had a gluten issue I definately would react. You may just not tolerate vinegar.

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This is the only time I've heard of yeast being added. If they add yeast to the vinegar, from what I understand it MUST be listed in the ingredients. Is it? If not, they're either violating the law or you were given incorrect information.

Actually, it's not uncommon to have yeast added. Yeast and bacteria are both required for fermentation, and while slow vinegar production can often use the natural yeast and bacteria present in the environment, a higher/faster yield often requires the addition of yeast and/or bacteria (or so I've been reading).

As to it not being listed - I asked about that when I was asking what was added. The explanation I was given was convoluted and rambling. It's marvelous when the gals says: we don't add any ingredients to our vinegar other than the distilled corn alcohol and water, because then we'd have to list them, but the substance that is added that you might be thinking of might be the yeast that we add to ferment the alcohol. :blink: In the end, the gist of it seemed to be that yeast was considered part of the processing of vinegar rather than an ingredient, so it didn't have to be listed on the label.

Re: why I didn't just list the company from the beginning - honestly, from the little research I was doing, this seemed like an industry hazard, so I figured I'd just mention it from that standpoint. I didn't do a good job of presenting it that way, I'll admit, so I just went ahead and mentioned the company, when asked.

I would agree that this is not an issue for the average celiac, but it is for some of us. Just those who are extremely, extremely sensitive...or perhaps those with corn problems, since there is the potential problem of corn as a possible addition to the yeast before it is added to the vinegar.

Although honestly...hmmm, trying to think how to express this properly.

I guess...I think it's important to be aware of this type of thing as a community. First, because I think it's helpful in our attempts to support each other. I read posts on, say, getting glutened by gluten free dinners not because it's going to be helpful to me - I can't eat any of them - but it might help someone I talk to, or know, or chat with. I think it's good to be aware of what's going on for the whole spectrum of sensitivities in the community. I know that's not how everyone views the situation, and it's not a concern for everyone, but that's how I tend to think about it.

However, there's another reason I think this information is good to know: because, to be cliche, forewarned is forearmed. The addition of this yeast really struck a discordant note with me. We've been told that this is distilled vinegar, so it's safe. I think most people make the same assumption I do, that distillation occurs after ALL ingredients are added. And that's not the case.

While it's still safe for most of us celiacs now, we all know how easily ingredients and processes change. And if we don't KNOW the process, I think that puts us at a disadvantage when we can't afford to be. It's been made pretty clear that the doctors aren't typically aware of how our food is being processed. It's up to us to help pass on what we've learned. Because all it would take would be the wrong change in the yeast making company to make things difficult for us Celiacs. And if we don't even know that's a possibility, then solving the problem can be ten times more difficult.

To me, information of this kind feels like, say, knowledge about the label 'also processed in facilities that processes wheat.' When I thought this was mandatory, I couldn't understand why some foods were making me sick. It wasn't until I found out that this was a voluntary label that I started calling up companies and realized that the things making me sick were processed in facilities that processed wheat. And I only found that out because someone on this forum posted about it.

I kind of view posts like this as returning the favor. I know it's not relevant for nearly as many people, but for a small few, maybe it can help. And so I think it's worth mentioning.

And as to whether I react to vinegar or not, I guess I'll find out in about 3 months - I'm trying to make my own, now, so we'll see how it goes. :)

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So for someone like me, who reacts pretty badly to gluten cc in every corn product I've ever tried, including the small amounts of corn starch in medication? I can see why I'd have a trouble with this lovely distilled vinegar. Definite minor cc issues for extremely gluten or corn sensitive folks.

Your statement above makes me think you have trouble with corn itself...not necessarily corn that has just been cc'd.

(Forgive me if you've already clarified...I may have missed it.)

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