Antonia Terpou*, Ioanna Mantzourani, Argyro Bekatorou, Athanasios Alexopoulos, and Stavros Plessas

Chapter Authors:

Antonia Terpou (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9956-5727">https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9956-5727)

Ioanna Mantzourani (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1532-1179">https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1532-1179)

Argyro Bekatorou (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9047-8195">https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9047-8195)

Athanasios Alexopoulos (n/a)

Stavros Plessas (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7167-0579">https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7167-0579)

Balsamic vinegars have a long history of production in Italy and are mainly categorized in two types, namely the traditional and industrial types. They are both obtained from the alcoholic and acetous fermentation of cooked and concentrated grape musts, which is the main characteristic that distinguishes balsamic vinegars from other vinegars. Specifically, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (TBV), is a high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar produced in Italy by surface fermentation and with a long history of well-developed procedures for its production. In this chapter the recent trends regarding balsamic vinegar production and research are highlighted and grouped based on the available most recent scientific literature. Current balsamic production trends, such as the production of balsamic glazes and creams, are also presented. Progress in the isolation and molecular identification of yeasts and acetic acid bacteria involved in balsamic vinegar fermentations, spoilage yeasts, and selection of suitable strains for the production of new generation balsamic vinegars are also highlighted. Finally, the recent findings on the structure of high quality TBVs, the variety of techniques that have been employed for the assessment of balsamic vinegar quality and authenticity, and their health benefits are also briefly presented.