Acid dips, anyone?

June 07, 2019

Let us go back to “truth in advertising”.

There is actually a law that mandates this.

And it basically says that what the manufacturer or seller puts on the label and other marketing tools to promote the sale of certain products must also be the same as the contents of the packaging material.

In short, what is being sold and promoted must be the real thing – not a poor copy or imitation, an artificial or synthetic version, or, worse, a bogus.

What we cannot understand and refuse to accept is the fact that coconuts, sugar canes, nipa and other palm varieties abound in this country. In fact, coconuts and sugar are our main traditional agricultural exports.

Vast lands are planted to this cash crops almost year round.

Apart from cooking oil and other related products derived from coconuts, coco vinegar is also produced in many coconut growing regions across the country.

Meanwhile hectares upon hectares of land in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grow sugar cane, another source of natural vinegar.

Nipa and other local palm trees also produced natural vinegar.

Now, if we have natural sources of vinegar in abundance, why do we have to suffer from  fake or “acid”-based versions that are potentially toxic or hazardous to health.

Food scientists and safety experts have come to the defense of “food-grade” acetic acid based vinegars which are supposedly non-lethal or fit for human consumption.

Our question is: Does the term “food-grade” mean natural or originating from organic or plant sources?

If not, then they are artificial chemical cocktails, a term that does not in any way endues appetite when announced and presented on a table.

The worse crime that manufacturers can commit against consumers is producing and selling acid based vinegars in plastic bottles. Why? Because acids are generally corrosive, and plastics are easily soluble upon contact with this powerful chemical.

Does public notification or advisory about the presence of these acid based vinegars in the market offer enough protection for consumers?

The Food and Drug Administration released the names of vinegar brands found to contain synthetic acetic acid, in line with its efforts to keep the consuming public properly informed about the products they are buying.

These brands include Surebuy Cane Vinegar, Tentay Pinoy Style Vinegar, Tentay Premium Vinegar, Tentay Vinegar "Sukang Tunay Asim", and the Chef's Flavor Vinegar.