Emw30

Can i have balsamic vinegar?

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Hello. Just wondering if I can have balsamic vinegar. I know in the book it says yes but I thought some had sugar in it? I use it on my salads all the time and just wanted to make sure it was ok before I start the reset! Thank you kindly. 

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2 minutes ago, Emw30 said:

caramel colour

The caramel colour is a type of sugar so this one is a no I'm afraid.

If the sulphites were added they'd be listed in the ingredients & that would also make it out. In this case they are naturally occurring but are called out specifically because they are an allergen.

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Thank you. I am going shopping this weekend so i will make sure to look for a good one. So as far as I'm looking I have to make sure it says no sulphities and no added sugar, correct?

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15 minutes ago, Emw30 said:

no sulphities and no added sugar, correct?

No added sulphites, no added sugars.

Correct.

(And obviously no other off plan ingredients either....)

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Or better yet, is there a better type of vinegar I can use for my dressings? I usually just add olive oil and lemon juice with some spices to it. I like that vinegar taste. 

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1 hour ago, Emw30 said:

Sorry its early in the morning for me. Lol. So when you say added that means it is in the ingredient list? And that's bad. 

If sulphites are NOT in the ingredients list you're good to go, even if the label says "contains sulphites". 

Personally, I can't imagine cooking and eating without balsamic vinegar! But there are many, many vinegars you can use. 

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4 minutes ago, ArtFossil said:

If sulphites are NOT in the ingredients

That's not always true either, unfortunately. Often, ingredients will list the sulfites whether they're added or not. If the label says something like this:

Ingredients: Wine Vinegar, Grape Must Concentrate, Cooked Grape Must, Sulphur Dioxide (Antioxidant)

then it's out because of the Sulphur Dioxide. But if it says something like this:

Ingredients: Wine Vinegar (contains sulphites), Grape Must Concentrate, Cooked Grape Must

then it's compliant because the sulphites are naturally occurring in the vinegar. 

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1 minute ago, laura_juggles said:

That's not always true either, unfortunately. Often, ingredients will list the sulfites whether they're added or not. If the label says something like this:

Ingredients: Wine Vinegar, Grape Must Concentrate, Cooked Grape Must, Sulphur Dioxide (Antioxidant)

then it's out because of the Sulphur Dioxide. But if it says something like this:

Ingredients: Wine Vinegar (contains sulphites), Grape Must Concentrate, Cooked Grape Must

then it's compliant because the sulphites are naturally occurring in the vinegar. 

Yes, you're right. I haven't had enough coffee as I should have said "contains sulphites" is OK or "naturally occurring sulphites".

Although personally I've not seen your example on a balsamic vinegar label. 

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I was really bored one day and started looking at tons of labels at the store. I don't remember which brand(s) it was, but there were definitely ones with the sulphites in parenthesis attached to the vinegar. It was an eye-opening experience. 

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4 minutes ago, MommaMary said:

What if it is infused Basalmic vinegars? Like cranberry pear? What about infused olive oils? 

As long as all the ingredients are compliant, it's fine. Always check the ingredients.

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My Costco balsamic vinegar lists sulfites after the ingredients, as an allergen.  It gave me a jolt, which is why I'm reading this post...but I guess from what's being said here that it's OK.  I hope so, it's delicious!

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11 hours ago, Pfgny said:

My Costco balsamic vinegar lists sulfites after the ingredients, as an allergen.  It gave me a jolt, which is why I'm reading this post...but I guess from what's being said here that it's OK.  I hope so, it's delicious!

What does the ingredients list say? That's where you really need to look. 

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I just wanted to offer my perspective on this topic. There are a bunch of posts asking about balsamic vinegar, and I've read a whole bunch of them because I was worried about the "contains sulfates" thing. I've read articles from food bloggers (including ones who focus mostly on Whole30) about how hard it is to find a balsamic vinegar that they're confident is fully compliant. That's what prompted me to start searching for "can I have" threads about balsamic vinegar.

My first thought is that it's really hard to find wine-based vinegars that don't have sufites in them because sulfur dioxide is added to almost all commercially produced wine as a preservative. Avoiding vinegars with sulfites added after the fact makes total sense to me. What's more, I plan to use apple cider or rice vinegars almost exclusively and sharply limit my use of balsamic, red wine, and white wine vinegars for now.  That's my plan at least until I get a clearer picture of whether or not sulfites cause problems for me or my family when we start reintroducing foods after our Whole30.

My second thought is that having a small amount of caramel color isn't enough of a concern for me to replace a bottle of balsamic vinegar that I already have. Why? Well, for one, caramel color isn't on either the list of banned additives or the list of sneaky sugars.  I wouldn't even know that caramel color is a form of sugar if I wasn't reading every thread I can find on balsamic vinegar here in the forums. If caramel color were a big problem, surely Melissa would have officially added it to one of the "bad things" lists at some point during the last nine years.

Maybe caramel color will be added to a "not allowed" list in the future. Or maybe it's already been considered and ruled out for some reason. I currently have no way of knowing which of those is the case.

So, for now, on the rare occasions I use balsamic vinegar, I'm okay with using one that contains caramel color. The official guides say that all vinegar is okay except for malt vinegar. As long as the bottle I'm using doesn't have sulfites or other explicitly banned items in the ingredients list, I'm okay with using it even though caramel color is listed.

I will do my best to avoid buying any more foods with caramel color added. But I'm not going to replace a new, full bottle of vinegar just because of caramel color, either. That would be an extra expense that I can't justify on my budget. And I'm not going to worry too much if the only brands of things I can find locally and afford to buy contain caramel color, either, unless and until it gets added to one of the official "not allowed" lists.

There are hundreds or thousands of people actively doing a Whole30 right now completely unaware that they might want to avoid foods containing caramel color. It can't be that big of a deal or Melissa would have taken action long ago.

I don't know if all this makes sense to anyone else, but it's what makes sense to me. Thanks for letting me add my perspective to this topic.

 

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1 hour ago, cscaos said:

I just wanted to offer my perspective on this topic. There are a bunch of posts asking about balsamic vinegar, and I've read a whole bunch of them because I was worried about the "contains sulfates" thing. I've read articles from food bloggers (including ones who focus mostly on Whole30) about how hard it is to find a balsamic vinegar that they're confident is fully compliant. That's what prompted me to start searching for "can I have" threads about balsamic vinegar.

My first thought is that it's really hard to find wine-based vinegars that don't have sufites in them because sulfur dioxide is added to almost all commercially produced wine as a preservative. Avoiding vinegars with sulfites added after the fact makes total sense to me. What's more, I plan to use apple cider or rice vinegars almost exclusively and sharply limit my use of balsamic, red wine, and white wine vinegars for now.  That's my plan at least until I get a clearer picture of whether or not sulfites cause problems for me or my family when we start reintroducing foods after our Whole30.

My second thought is that having a small amount of caramel color isn't enough of a concern for me to replace a bottle of balsamic vinegar that I already have. Why? Well, for one, caramel color isn't on either the list of banned additives or the list of sneaky sugars.  I wouldn't even know that caramel color is a form of sugar if I wasn't reading every thread I can find on balsamic vinegar here in the forums. If caramel color were a big problem, surely Melissa would have officially added it to one of the "bad things" lists at some point during the last nine years.

Maybe caramel color will be added to a "not allowed" list in the future. Or maybe it's already been considered and ruled out for some reason. I currently have no way of knowing which of those is the case.

So, for now, on the rare occasions I use balsamic vinegar, I'm okay with using one that contains caramel color. The official guides say that all vinegar is okay except for malt vinegar. As long as the bottle I'm using doesn't have sulfites or other explicitly banned items in the ingredients list, I'm okay with using it even though caramel color is listed.

I will do my best to avoid buying any more foods with caramel color added. But I'm not going to replace a new, full bottle of vinegar just because of caramel color, either. That would be an extra expense that I can't justify on my budget. And I'm not going to worry too much if the only brands of things I can find locally and afford to buy contain caramel color, either, unless and until it gets added to one of the official "not allowed" lists.

There are hundreds or thousands of people actively doing a Whole30 right now completely unaware that they might want to avoid foods containing caramel color. It can't be that big of a deal or Melissa would have taken action long ago.

I don't know if all this makes sense to anyone else, but it's what makes sense to me. Thanks for letting me add my perspective to this topic.

 

Caramel color is a sugar.  If you choose to eat it knowing this, then that's your choice but do know that you're not doing a Whole30 if you are knowingly eating something that is off limits.  You're right that we should add Caramel color to the sneaky sugars list and we can definitely raise that to HQ, but since YOU know that it's a sugar, you're making a decision to eat off plan which is against the spirit and rules of the program.

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3 minutes ago, SugarcubeOD said:

Caramel color is a sugar.  If you choose to eat it knowing this, then that's your choice but do know that you're not doing a Whole30 if you are knowingly eating something that is off limits.  You're right that we should add Caramel color to the sneaky sugars list and we can definitely raise that to HQ, but since YOU know that it's a sugar, you're making a decision to eat off plan which is against the spirit and rules of the program.

Thanks for the quick reply, SugarcubeOD. Actually, I don't know definitively that caramel color is a sugar. I know that sugar or starch is an ingredient. But I don't know if the net result is still sugar. Yes, one kind of caramel color is sugar cooked down into caramel. But that's only one of the four classes of caramel color used as food ingredients, and it isn't typically used in vinegar because it breaks down in the presence of acid.

Similarly, I know that all kombucha is made with sugar. Despite that, all kombucha that doesn't list sugar as an ingredient is allowed. There's been an official statement about that. And it highlights the fact that products made from sugar don't always end up containing sugar.

Even though all forms of caramel color start with sugar or starch as an ingredient, I don't personally know that they all equate to added sugar in the end. Please don't try to make me feel bad for being uncertain about this detail. Your use of capitalization ("since YOU know that it's a sugar") is going a bit too far, in my opinion.

---

Regardless, I've kept researching caramel color and vinegar since I submitted my first post in this thread.  And I've learned something additional that actually concerns me a lot more than a possible small amount of sugar or starch. Specifically:

There are four types of caramel color. Of those, only two are acid resistant enough to be used in vinegar. They're both made by combining sugar or carbohydrates with sulfites. Class II / E150b is made with sulfites plus alkali compounds and is more likely to be used in red wine vinegar because it produces a reddish brown color. Class IV / E150d is made with sulfites plus ammonia and is likely to be used in balsamic vinegar because it produces a dark brown color.

Either way, vinegar with added caramel color is quite likely to have a higher sulfite content than vinegar without it because of the specific varieties of caramel color that get added to vinegar.

And, on balsamic vinegar ingredient labels in particular, it might be reasonable to read "caramel color" as "ammonium sulfite" because that's the chemical commonly used to make Class IV caramel color. In other words, caramel color in the ingredients list of balsamic vinegar strongly implies that sulfites have been added. And that's a definitely "not allowed" situation.

That's enough new information to make me reverse my earlier position. I'm not going to use balsamic vinegar containing caramel color during my Whole30. If I find I can't live without balsamic vinegar for 30 days, I'll buy a fully compliant brand.

 

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I hope I don't irritate anyone too much by posting another follow-up in this thread, but there's something specifically written by Melissa that is quite relevant. In her stickied post from 2015 on "E" numbers of ingredients to avoid in the UK, Melissa specifically listed E150b and E150d as additives to avoid because of added sulfites.

As mentioned in my post above, those are the forms of caramel color that are commonly used in vinegar. Therefore, it looks to me as if the official guidance from Melissa is that balsamic vinegar containing caramel color is non-compliant because of added sulfites. I'm going to treat that as a definitive and official answer as far as I am concerned.

However, in her post, she didn't include any of the four forms of caramel color (E150a - E150d) in the list of sneaky sugars to avoid.

With deference to all of the mods who have responded to questions about caramel color on the forums over the years, I realize there is certainly evidence to show that caramel color contains carbohydrates and will cause a rise in blood sugar. The four forms might even all be sugars for all I know. But Melissa hasn't categorized them as such as far as I can tell.

Also, the official "Do I need to start over?" guidance says that unknowingly consuming sugar is the only slip up that officially does not require starting over.

Why am I mentioning that?

Because having consumed balsamic vinegar that contains caramel color is an "added sulfites" slip up, not a sneaky sugar one. And it therefore may well warrant starting over.

I hope that any mods responding to future "can I have balsamic vinegar" questions will approach it from this angle.

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Hi - still pretty new to Whole30 (day 5!) and the forum, and I’ve read as many threads as I can find about balsamic vinegar, but still hoping I can get an answer on whether this is compliant from someone a bit more experienced with the program. It’s an aged balsamic vinegar which seems to be the only ingredient but then immediately after says “contains sulfites.” Given what I have read I think it’s ok but wanted to get a second opinion. Posted a pic of the relevant portion of the ingredients on the label. Thanks in advance! 1DF2386E-DDF1-438A-B382-BD4E681BDB5A.thumb.jpeg.ea4e45c877bbd040cd62cabb5beeaba3.jpeg

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This is fine. If it said 'VSOP, sulphites' that would not be okay but most vinegar contains sulphites naturally and they have to list it so when it's listed as a comment behind an ingredient list and not as part of the list, that's when it's okay.

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