Hungarian fruit vinegars were characterised in terms of physicochemical attributes (total polyphenol content, antioxidant characteristics/FRAP, CUPRAC, ABTS/, ascorbic acid content, pH, total soluble solids), sensory profiles, and antimicrobial properties.
Both compositional and sensory profiles showed distinct patterns depending on the type of vinegar (Tokaj wine, balsamic or apple) and the additional fruit used. Balsamic vinegars maturated on rosehip, sea buckthorn, and raspberry showed outstanding antioxidant performances. Rosehip, raspberry, and quince vinegars, as well as vinegars produced from Tokaji aszú and balsamic apple obtained high scores for fruity and sweet notes.
Antimicrobial activities were tested on Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms, including probiotic bacteria. Generally, only weak activities were obtained, which was attributed to the natural sugar content of the samples, depending on the type of the vinegar and the fruit. Similar results, but more pronounced bacterial growth inhibitions were obtained for probiotic strains, however, some probiotic strains were resistant to at least two of the vinegars. Based on these, balsamic apple, raspberry, rosehip, quince, and sea buckthorn may qualify as potential functional components of probiotic preparations containing some of the strains tested.