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China: Chemical Vinegar

A local report has revealed that 90% of vinegar in the market is produced by glacial acetic acid rather than grain.

According to the report [zh] in the First Financial Daily, the annual consumption of vinegar on average is up to 3.3 million tons and 90% is a chemical combination of glacial acetic acid, water and other addictives. The term “Vinegar Mixture” (勾兌醋) has become another hot search term in the past few days.

Egugu forum user, Bean Eyes warns [zh] other consumers about the chemical vinegar mixture:

而国家规定勾兑醋必须用食用冰醋酸,但受利益驱动,一些个体经营者竟用价格便宜的工业用冰醋酸(1桶食用冰醋酸的价格约合2.5桶工业用冰醋酸)作原料。勾兑醋的制造工艺则非常简单——冰醋酸加上一定比例的水,混合后便可装袋。一些与食用冰醋酸勾兑的醋,并经过充分的蒸溜处理,理论上应该说是对人体无害的。但它除了有酸味之外,对人体没有什么好处。因此与其说它是醋,不如说它是“酸水”更准确些。

工业冰醋酸中还含有大量的铅和砷元素,还含有未被氧化的有机物如甲醇,接触和食用会引起人体多发性神经炎,导致视力急剧下降,失明,血液中毒,胃肠粘连,长期食用会导致肺癌,胃癌。

According to the law, they have to use edible glacial acetic acid, but some small individual enterprises use industrial glacial acetic acid. (The price of a barrel of edible glacial acetic acid is equal to 2.5 barrels of industrial glacial acetic acid). The combination is very simple, just mix glacial acetic acid with water and it is done.

The edible glacial acetic acid has gone through the distillation process and is harmless. But it does no good to the human body, it is just acidic water, not vinegar. The industrial glacial acetic acid has heavy metals and methanol, which will result in polyneuritis and can cause blindness, blood intoxication, stomach and intestinal adhesion. A prolonged period of consumption would lead to lung and stomach cancer.

In Sina Weibo, the problem of “vinegar mixture” appears in a number of news threads today. Below is a translation [zh] of selected comments from the Global Entrepreneur Magazine news threads:

找乐子儿 一点不稀奇,在这个没有标准没有监管的体制下,在这个拜金主义盛行的社会中,我们怎么可能希望有安全不离谱的产品呢?如果前两个现状没有改观,只能是没有最离谱,只有更离谱!(1分鐘前)

李景利 早就不是行业机密了,只是,为啥没人出来管管呢?纳税都用来养狗了?(7分鐘前)

一念已至灵山 我们无法放心的吃任何东西,这是一个怎样的世界?我们的厨房是否应该变成化学实验室,所有的食品先检测一下再入口?(26分鐘前)

cao-min 怎么这么多东西都是勾兑出来的啊,其他国家的这些产品是不是一样?期待结果…(43分鐘前)

左晓兵 可不可以反过来:告诉国人什么东西能放心吃!!(46分鐘前)

Searching for happiness: This is nothing new. In a system with no quality check, in a society where money is its only aspiration, what else can we expect? If we can't change the above conditions, we will only have more and more extreme phenomena.

Li Jinli: This is not a business secret at all. The problem is no one steps up to manage the situation. Our tax money is spent on feeding dogs.

Spiritual mountain: There isn't a single food we can eat with confidence. What kind of world are we living in? Probably we should turn our kitchen into a chemical laboratory and test the food before we cook it.

Cao-min: How come we have so much chemical food. I wonder if other countries are the same? Expecting enlightenment…

Zou Xiaobing: A reversed question: Can you tell us what else we can eat with confidence?

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