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  • Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH₃COOH. It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Vinegar is roughly 4%-8% acetic acid by volume, making acetic acid the main component of vinegar apart from water. Acetic acid has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell. Besides its production as household vinegar, it is mainly produced as a precursor to polyvinylacetate and cellulose acetate. Although it is classified as a weak acid, concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and can attack the skin. Acetic acid is one of the simplest carboxylic acids. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical, mainly used in the production of cellulose acetate for photographic film and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as synthetic fibers and fabrics. In households, diluted acetic acid is often used in descaling agents. In the food industry, acetic acid is used under the food additive code E260 as an acidity regulator and as a condiment. As a food additive it is approved for usage in many countries, including Canada, the EU, USA and Australia and New Zealand.

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