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I make organic and all Natural Vinaigrette's, lately they're fermenting and fizzing. Whats the best preservative to use? Guar gum, potassium sorbate? Don't want added sodium from sodium benzoate.

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  • The vinegar, oil, and salt that are part of a vinaigrette are preservative already, so that seems a bit strange to me. After how much time are your vinaigrettes fermenting/fizzing? A day, a week, a month?
    – John Doe
    Jul 13, 2022 at 13:52
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    Does this answer your question? My homemade vinaigrettes are fermenting and fizzing
    – Esther
    Jul 13, 2022 at 14:24
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    The main preservative in vinaigrette is vinegar. This isn't vinaigrette. Not with 10:1 water.
    – Chris H
    Jul 13, 2022 at 15:22
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    That question was asking why the fizzing was happening, not about how to stop it. It seems a logical follow-up question to me.
    – GdD
    Jul 13, 2022 at 15:35
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    Hey folks, this is not a duplicate, it is a follow-up question, something we encourage people to ask rather than putting multiple questions in one topic.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 14, 2022 at 0:08

2 Answers 2

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The best preservative for salad dressing is high acid content; below pH 4.5, most pathogens will not reproduce. However, most salad dressings are above that, and yours certainly is due to the large quantity of water you add.

The next method used is heat; this is how commercial salad dressings are made shelf-stable. I have a bottle of Ken's Caesar in my pantry right now that containts zero preservatives, and is shelf-stable for months or years, through heat treatment. For that to be effective, you must follow safe canning practices and heat filled bottles to at least the temperatures and times listed in the linked article. In fact, you may need higher temperatures and longer times, or even pressure canning, due to the very low acidity of your dressing.

There are chemical preservatives that you can add, but none of them protect your customers from all pathogens. For example, sodium benzoate is often used to prevent yeast and mold, but does nothing to inhibit botulism or salmonella.

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  • That first link uses a strange definition of "salad dressing", quoting the FDA: they say egg is a required ingredient, implying mayonnaise and things made from it. The arguments on pH should still hold though
    – Chris H
    Jul 14, 2022 at 7:55
  • Yeah, I noticed that, but it's still a fairly authoritative source.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 14, 2022 at 18:29
  • The FDA is authoritative, but if they're talking about something completely different, they're not useful. I'm not sure whether they're being slightly inappropriately quoted in your source, or if there's an FDA definition of salad dressing that excludes vinaigrette
    – Chris H
    Jul 14, 2022 at 19:51
  • Vinagrettes (without eggs) are "non-standardized food dressings" in the FDA category system, as mentioned in the article. But SDSU's recommendations on acidification still apply. Particularly for the OP's question, where one of the chief problems is that their dressing is very low-acid (neutral).
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 14, 2022 at 21:42
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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the FDA (or ESFA) doesn't have specific guidance for "rehydrated fruit juice with vinegar and spices".
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 15, 2022 at 16:04
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Canning.

You like your microbes because you are making vinagrette (I think). But lately they are too frisky with the bubbling and fizzing and you want them to quit it.

You can kill them with heat. You can can them. Or you may can them. Once they are at the point you like as regards fixx and flavor open the bottles (no heating closed bottles, ever!) and have them sit in the hot water bath just as you would for canning. Canning works by killing microbes. The same procedure will kill the microbes responsible for the fizzing you don't want.

Canning can change flavors but probably not as much as adding enough salt or other substance to chemically suppress the microbes. Once your vinaigrette product is sterilized it should be fizz free.

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