Chapter 4 Technological and Microbiological Aspects of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and Their Influence on Quality and Sensorial Properties

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Chapter 4 Technological and Microbiological Aspects of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and Their Influence on Quality and Sensorial Properties
  Provided for non-commercial research and educational use only. Not for reproduction, distribution or commercial use. This chapter was srcinally published in the book   , Advances in Food and Nutrition Research Vol.58,  published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, for non-commercial research and educational use including without limitation use in instruction at your institution, sending it to specific colleagues who know you, and providing a copy to your institution’s administrator.   All other uses, reproduction and distribution, including without limitation commercial reprints, selling or licensing copies or access, or posting on open internet sites, your personal or institution’s website or repository, are prohibited. For exceptions, permission may be sought for such use through Elsevier's permissions site at: From: Paolo Giudici, Maria Gullo, Lisa Solieri, and Pasquale Massimiliano Falcone, Technological and Microbiological Aspects of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and Their Influence on Quality and Sensorial Properties In Steve Taylor editor,   Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Vol.58  , Burlington: Academic Press, 2009, pp.137-182. ISBN: 978-0-12-374441-8, © Copyright 2009 Elsevier INC, Academic Press.  CHAPTER  4 Technological andMicrobiological Aspectsof Traditional Balsamic Vinegarand Their Influence on Qualityand Sensorial Properties Paolo Giudici, Maria Gullo, Lisa Solieri, and  Pasquale Massimiliano Falcone Contents  I. Introduction 138A. The ‘‘balsamic family’’ 139B. Historical note 140C. ‘‘Balsamic’’: From Semitic languages to Italianlegislation 145D. Legal aspects 147E. Sensorial aspects 148II. Basic Technology 148A. Raw material 149B. Cooking technology 151C. Fermentation 154D. The barrel set 159III. Chemical Composition 168A. Major compounds 169B. Minor compounds 171C. Melanoidins and other biopolymers 174D. TBV composition during the last three decades 174  Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 58  # 2009 Elsevier Inc.ISSN 1043-4526, DOI: 10.1016/S1043-4526(09)58004-7 All rights reserved.Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Amendola, 2, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy  137  IV. Physical Properties 176A. Rheological properties 176B. Color and spectrum absorbance 176V. Conclusion 177References 178 Abstract  The term ‘‘balsamic’’ is widespread and popular all over the worldof vinegar and fancy foods; it is used generally to refer to vinegarsand sauces with a sweet and sour taste. However, the srcinal is theEuropean Protected Denomination, registered as ‘‘Aceto BalsamicoTradizionale of Modena, or of Reggio Emilia’’ that should not beconfused with the ‘‘Aceto Balsamico di Modena’’ very similar in thename, but completely different for technology, raw material, qual-ity, and sensorial properties. Traditional balsamic vinegar is madeby a peculiar procedure, that starts with a thermal concentration of freshly squeezed grape juice, followed by alcoholic and aceticfermentations and, finally, long aging in a wooden barrel set, by aprocedure which requires a partial transfer of vinegar from cask tocask with the consequential blending of vinegars of different ages.In addition, water transfer occurs across the wood of the barrels,the result being an increase of solute concentration of the vinegar.The chemical and physical transformations of the vinegar aremainly directed by the low water activity of the vinegar. High-molecular polymeric compounds are the main and characteristicconstituents of srcinal and old traditional balsamic vinegar, andthe major cause of its rheological and sensorial properties. I. INTRODUCTION ‘‘Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena’’ and ‘‘traditional balsamicvinegar of Reggio Emilia’’ (here collectively abbreviated as TBV) are twosimilar types of vinegar, both characterized by a strong local identity aswell as chemical–physical and sensory properties, defined by Italian andEuropean legislation. One of the main features of TBV is its aging period,fixed at a minimum of 12 years. During this time, chemical–physicalchangestakeplaceandgivetothevinegaritscharacteristicsensorialproper-ties. In short, time plays the central role in the overall production process.Control over TBV and its reputation is protected by the constitution of local associations of producers and experts in the field, usually called Consortia . The aim of these  Consortia  is to promote the culture of TBV andto survey their production and distribution. There are now four active Consortia  in both of the interested cities—Modena and Reggio Emilia—with the same purpose and functions. For the TBV of Modena, these are Consorzio Produttori Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena ,  Consorzio 138  Paolo Giudici  et al.  Tutela Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena , and  Consorteria dell’AcetoBalsamico Tradizionale di Modena ; for the TBV of Reggio Emilia, they are Consorzio fra Produttori di Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia , Confraternitadell’AcetoBalsamicoTradizionalediReggioEmilia ,and SindacatoProduttori Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia . A. The ‘‘balsamic family’’ TBV belongs to the wider group of vinegars made from grapes, knownworldwide under the generic and legally dubious appellation: ‘‘balsamicvinegars.’’ The market for balsamic vinegars and related products hasdeveloped very quickly in a short space of time. It is, nowadays, com-posed of a wide range of products that at first glance can seem quitesimilar not only in appearance but also from the sensory point of view;however, all these products can actually be very different in respect of their ingredients, market claims, price, and legal status. It can be verydifficult to understand the true differences among this heterogeneousgroup of products. For this reason, we attempt to present here a summaryof what can be called the ‘‘balsamic family.’’ A first clarification can beachieved through observing the legal definitions, as a base on which wecan identify three sets, and related protection levels: 1.  Condiments : This set is composed of products that cannot be defined asvinegars becauseoftheir composition,lowaciditylevel orintended use.There are no limitations as to their composition: they can contain thick-eners, preservatives, colors, flavors, and any kind of additives, bothartificial and natural. They can be liquid, solid, or semisolid. Sometimesthey can resemble vinegars, even balsamic vinegars, in many aspects.Theirpriceandtheirqualitativelevelarewidelyvariableanddependonthe cost of the raw materials. Balsamic sauces, glazes, jellies, flavoredvinegars, dual oil and vinegar compositions, various fruit and vinegarcompositions, vinaigrettes are members of this set. General food laws,according to national and international regulations, cover theseproducts. The reasons for the production of condiments are manifold:(i) offering variants of extant products, with altered properties, forexample, lower acidity, food colouring, flavor, higher viscosity, etc.;(ii)sellinggoodqualityproductsatalowprice,forexample,byavoidingthe aging time; (iii) developing vinegar- or balsamic-like productscontainingnewrawmaterials,forexample,fruits,vegetables,honey,etc. 2.  Vinegars : These are a subset of the larger condiments group. Accordingto a generally accepted definition, vinegars are liquids obtained by theacetic fermentation of any suitable foodstuff. Vinegars are legallydefinedinmanystatesoftheworldandsometimesaresubjecttospecificlegislation.Theyusuallyhaveaminimumaciditylevel.Tocitejustafew Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and Related Products  139  examples in Europe, vinegars must have a minimum of between 5 and12 g of acetic acid per 100 ml of product, except wine vinegar which hasa minimum of 6 g; however, in the United States, the minimum is4 g/100 ml (FDA ORA quality manual) and in Australia, it is 4 g/100 g(FSANZ Standard 2.10.1). Vinegars are usually cheap everyday condi-ments, but their price can rise if they require complex production steps,long aging or highly priced raw materials (e.g., PGI wines). This groupincludesvinegarssuchaswinevinegar,ricevinegar,applecidervinegar,malt vinegar, and honey vinegar that are usually obtained from a singlefoodstuff through alcoholic and subsequent acetic fermentation.For some countries, flavored vinegars are included in this category. 3.  Specialty vinegars : This subset includes vinegars that are legally recog-nized as peculiar and different from the products of the ‘‘normal’’vinegar group, for historical, cultural, or other plausible reasons.These types of vinegar are subject to special and dedicated regulationsor under special protection such as PGI or PDO. The vinegars belong-ing to this group are often expensive and produced on a reduced orsmall scale, like TBV. However, they can sometimes reach huge pro-duction numbers, like the Jerez Vinegar or the balsamic vinegar of Modena (not to be confused with TBV), which are actually industrialproducts consumed worldwide like wine vinegar. Balsamic familyproducts can belong either to the condiments set or to the specialtyvinegars set. Figure 4.1 illustrates the three legal levels of vinegar andthe balsamic family, while Table 4.1 shows a summary of the balsamicfamily features. The technological and microbiological aspectsdescribed in this review are not specifically mentioned, except inregard to TBV. B. Historical note TBV is generally described as vinegar of ancient srcin, possibly dating backtotheMiddleAgesanddeeplyembedded inthegastronomichistoryof the Italian Provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. TBV has achievedworldwide fame in recent times, boosted by several marketing promo-tions. Notwithstanding their famed time-honored traditions, the culture,the history, and the complexity behind this product are far from beingcorrectly reconstructed and properly understood. It seems that seriouscomprehensive research into the srcinal production process, the agingsystem, the sensory profile, and the analytical parameters that properlydescribe TBV has not yet been accomplished. The piecing together of reliableinformationfromvarioussources,andtheconsequentreconstruc-tion of the true history of the TBV of Modena or Reggio Emilia, is a verychallenging task because documents and testimonies about them are few 140  Paolo Giudici  et al.
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