What is Acetic Acid? Ingredients, Uses and Health

Acetic acid is a common food additive found in many forms of modern processed foods. Acetic acid is an organic compound with a sour taste and smell similar to vinegar. In fact, it is acetic acid that gives vinegar its distinctive flavor and smell. As well as being found in many foods and condiments, acetic acid also serves a variety of uses in science and industry, from stop baths in photography to solvents. In high concentrations, acetic acid can be dangerous, causing corrosion to the skin, damage to the digestive system and potential death. However, acetic acid in food almost never reaches dangerous or unhealthy levels.

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