By Dhel Nazario
Filipino vinegar brands in the Philippines are mostly “fake” and not made from natural sources a recent study showed.
Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) used isotope-based analytical techniques to determine that from more than 360 brands of vinegar in the Philippines, 8 out of 10 are made from synthetic acetic acid.
“Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products,” said Raymond Sucgang, Section Head of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section.
His team’s research project distinguishes vinegar and other condiments from natural or plant-based sources from those which are derived from petroleum-based sources.
“One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum by-products, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases,” said Sucgang.
The natural vinegar coming from plants will have traces of carbon with natural radioactivity, unlike those made from synthetic raw materials.
The results of the vinegar studies are being submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and will hopefully serve as a basis for the development of a new Vinegar Standards of the Philippines.
PNRI researchers are also developing isotope analytical techniques for use in detecting synthetic by-products in other condiments such as ketchup, fish sauce or patis, and soy sauce or toyo.