Liquid acetic acid

Acetic acid is used in baking as a leavening agent.

Acetic Acid

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic Acid, or CH3COOH, is a weakly acidic organic compound primarily noted for imparting the pungent, distinct taste of vinegar. As a liquid, acetic acid is transparent and viscous, while as a solid, the acid is colorless and somewhat glassy.


Acetic acid is most notably produced synthetically, through the carbonylation of methanol. It can also be produced via the fermentation of bacteria.


Acetic Acid is the primary component in vinegar, and is the source denoting the sharp taste and aroma characteristic to varieties of vinegar as well as products in which acetic acid is included. Acetic acid functions as a leavening agent if used in conjunction with baking soda in baked products. It also serves the functions of tenderizing, preserving, and coagulating when poaching eggs.


Acetic acid is composed of a carboxylic group and a methyl group.

Acetic Acid

Chemical structure of the acetic acid molecule.


In baking applications, acting as half of a chemical leavener, acetic acid reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide, water, and sodium acetate. Lactic acid combined with acetic acid is used in sourdough production, to create a sharp, distinct flavor. Acetic acid is also used in wine making to yield volatile acidity, imperative to sensory perception and wine characteristics.

FDA Legal Requirement

GRAS (21CFR184.1005)