To make it, chopped apples are covered with water and left to ferment to form ethanol. Natural bacteria convert the ethanol into acetic acid, which is the main component of vinegar.
It's not often that an entire bottle of apple cider vinegar is used in one sitting, which may leave you wondering whether it ever expires.
This article reviews whether apple cider vinegar goes bad, plus storage tips to improve its quality and shelf life.
Shelf Life and Proper Storage Tips
The acidic nature of vinegar makes it a self-preserving pantry staple, which means it generally never sours or expires.
The pH scale, which ranges from 0–14 indicates how acidic a substance is. A pH lower than 7 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Acetic acid, the main constituent of apple cider vinegar, has a highly acidic pH between 2 and 3.
Vinegar has natural antimicrobial properties, which likely contribute to its long shelf life. In fact, vinegar can prevent the growth of illness-causing germs like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.
In one study, vinegar had the most antibacterial characteristics when compared with coffee, soda, tea, juice, and olive oil.
The best way to store apple cider vinegar is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, such as in a kitchen pantry or basement. Refrigerating apple cider vinegar is unnecessary and does not improve its shelf life.
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and has antimicrobial properties that make it a self-preserving pantry staple. While it technically never expires, storing it in a cool, dark place helps preserve its quality.
How Apple Cider Vinegar Changes Over Time
As vinegar ages, it may undergo aesthetic changes, such as becoming hazy or separating. You may also notice cloudy sediments or fibers at the bottom of the bottle.
This is largely due to exposure to oxygen, which happens every time you open the lid.
Over time, oxygenation also causes the release of citric acid and sulfur dioxide, two preservatives in vinegar.
This could affect how it tastes or contributes to a recipe, but these changes don't significantly affect the nutritional value or shelf life of apple cider vinegar.
Before using apple cider vinegar that you've had for a while, you can smell and even taste it to make sure it'll still work well in your recipe.
Keep in mind that even though apple cider vinegar products may have an expiration date on them, many manufacturers note that its safe to use well beyond this date.
Apple cider vinegar may undergo subtle aesthetic changes over time when exposed to oxygen, but this doesn't significantly change its nutritional quality or shelf life.
The Bottom Line
Apple cider vinegar is acidic and has antimicrobial properties that make it self-preserving. This means that it's safe to consume and use in recipes even if it's old.
However, apple cider vinegar can undergo aesthetic changes over time that may slightly change its taste, texture, or appearance. This is primarily due to chemical changes that happen when it's exposed to oxygen.
Still, these types of changes do not affect the shelf life of apple cider vinegar, and it's not dangerous to consume it when it gets old.
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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