A wide range of seasonal fruits grow in Northern Peru but their seasonality causes problems for
farmers through low prices and post-harvest losses. One option to better make use of this fruit is to
produce a good quality competitively priced fruit vinegar for the local market. Only a small
production unit is required costing about $US 3600 for equipment and materials. A working capital
of $750 is needed to produce 350 litres of vinegar; equivalent to 778 bottles of 450 ml.
The technology involved is quite simple. An industrial liquidiser is used to prepare the fruit must
that is fermented and plastic containers are used for the two fermentations required (alcoholic and
acetic). Bottling is done by hand. The plant's maximum capacity is 2,000 bottles (450 ml) per
month. However all costs can be covered when producing just over 600 bottles per month.
Raw materials and equipment
The following items are needed to process 50kg of ripe banana and make 350 litres of white
In this example we will use
ripe bananas but a whole
variety of fruits such as
apples, pineapples and
peaches etc can be used
when they are cheap.
Boiled water must be
used. During the process
we used boiled that has been allowed to cool to dilute the liquidised fruit pulp. Each fruit is
slightly different and so must be treated differently.
Yeast is used to for the alcoholic fermentation of the must.
We use ordinary bread yeast to do this (1 gr. of yeast x 1 litre
of prepared must)
Vinegar starter - acetic acid producing bacteria
Vinegar that has not been pasteurised (heated to make it
sterile) has an acetic acidity between 5% and 8% and
contains live vinegar producing bacteria. It is used to start
the acetic fermentation using 7 litres of vinegar starter for each 10 litres of corrected must.
Dry yellow corncobs
Coarsely ground corncobs are used in small quantities to speed up and increase the amount of
acetic acid produced.
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