Difference Between White Vinegar and Rice Vinegar

White Vinegar and rice vinegar are very popular forms of Vinegar and are primarily the same.


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They both have the base compound of acetic acid, but they are opposite in flavor.

Both come in transparent forms and are sour. However, they have some significant differences also.

White Vinegar vs Rice Vinegar

The difference between white vinegar and rice vinegar is that the flavor of the white Vinegar is more sharp and sour than the rice vinegar. Rice vinegar has a sweet and delicate taste and is less acetic in flavor. The color of the white Vinegar is clear white, and transparent. On the other hand, rice vinegar is pale yellow or can be darker in color.

White Vinegar vs Rice Vinegar

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White Vinegar is very sour. It is one of the most aggressive kinds of Vinegar in the market and is preferably used as a household cleaner.

White Vinegar is generally made from fermented grains, including corn and some other kind of wheat-based fermented alcohol derivatives.

It is colorless, transparent, and white and generally considered as a western vinegar.

Rice vinegar is mainly used for cooking and baking purposes. It is commonly used to prepare Asian food, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean food, and gives a sweet flavor to the dishes.

It is made from fermented rice and is very mild in taste.

There are also some other forms of rice vinegar, such as white rice vinegar, black rice vinegar, and red rice vinegar.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison  White Vinegar  Rice Vinegar  
What is it?  White vinegar is a type of western vinegar, fermented from various grains and has a sharp and strong acidic flavor.  Rice vinegar is an Asian vinegar, made from fermented rice and has a sweet and delicate taste.  
Key ingredient  Fermented grains such as malt, corn, and any wheat-based grain.  Fermented rice is the main ingredient.  
Flavor  Sharp, sour, and very acidic flavor.  Sweeter and milder in flavor.  
Colour  Colorless, clear white, and transparent.  Little darker in color, can be of dark brown, red or pale yellow.  
Used for  Various culinary applications and also for cleaning purposes, in pickling and preserving.  Commonly used in Asian dishes, to marinade and salad dressing.  
Area  More common in Europe and North America.  More common in Asia.  
Acid content  Higher acetic acid content.  Lower acetic acid content and higher sugar content.  

What is White Vinegar?

White Vinegar typically consists of about 5 – 7 % acetic acid and about 92-96% water.

This kind of higher acetic acid content vinegar is mainly used for cleaning purposes.

White Vinegar is very stronger in flavor. Although it can be used for cooking and baking purposes.

It has a sharp sour taste, and that’s why it is not preferable for drinking and cooking purposes rather than it is preferable for household cleaning.

Additionally, white Vinegar is used in the kitchen for making pickles, salads, marinades, and for baking.

You can also make cheese by using white Vinegar. It has some positive health effects also.

The acetic acid content of Vinegar provides some health benefits, such as it helps to control the blood sugar level of our body.

Some studies show that consuming white Vinegar can be beneficial for our weight management, also reduce cholesterol.

White Vinegar has some antimicrobial properties, which are very effective in disinfecting.

Sometimes it is cheaper than other household cleaners commercially available in the market. It is also useful to kill unwanted weeds in our garden.

Above all, white Vinegar is highly acidic that can erode our tooth enamel, and also can cause acid reflux, stomach inflammation, etc.

What is Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar is made from fermented glutinous rice and has a less tangy flavor than other Vinegar.

It is less acidic with a subtle sweetness. Rice vinegar is commonly used in salads, marinades, and pickling vegetables.

It is used when a sweet and less tangy flavor profile is needed in dishes. Additionally, rice vinegar has a lower acetic acid content and higher sugar content.

Rice vinegar is noticeably darker in color than white Vinegar. It can be of black, red, pale yellow or dark brown color.

This kind of Vinegar is most common in Asia and is used to prepare Asian cuisines, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean foods.

Black rice vinegar, red rice vinegar, and white rice vinegar are mostly used in Asian dishes.

Black rice vinegar is generally made from sweet rice, and it adds a smokey flavor to southern Chinese food. This Vinegar is also used to season sushi rice.

Moreover, this typical Asian Vinegar is mainly used for culinary purposes.

As it has a sweet and delicate flavor and lower acetic acid content, it is not preferable for cleaning purposes.

Main Differences Between White Vinegar and Rice Vinegar

  1. White Vinegar is typically made from fermented corn or malt. On the other hand, rice vinegar is made from fermented glutinous rice.
  2. White Vinegar is more acidic and less sweet. On the other hand, rice vinegar has higher sugar content, and acetic acid content is not as high as white Vinegar.
  3. White Vinegar has a sour and tangy flavor profile. It has a more sharp and harsh taste. On the other hand, rice vinegar is milder, sweeter, and less harsh than white Vinegar.
  4. White Vinegar is colorless, transparent, and white. On the other hand, rice vinegar is not as clear as white Vinegar in color. It can be pale yellow, red, or dark brown.
  5. White Vinegar is generally a western vinegar, most common in North America and Europe. On the other hand, rice vinegar is mainly used in Asian cuisines.
Difference Between White Vinegar and Rice Vinegar
  1. https://academicjournals.org/journal/JDE/article-abstract/61C12974375
  2. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200908349654598.page
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