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Chemistry Basics: Know More About the Chemical Formula of Vinegar

Here are some informations and the chemical formula of Vinegar.
Omkar Phatak Mar 20, 2019
Vinegar has been in use since thousands of years. It is extensively used in European and Asian cuisines. The name 'vinegar' is derived from its old French name 'vin aigre' which means 'sour wine'. That is because it is indeed sour to taste and derived from oxidation of alcohol.

Chemical Formula

Vinegar is a mixture, which is primarily composed of acetic acid. The typical concentration of acetic acid in it, may be from 4% to 8% of total volume. The type used for pickling has a higher concentration of acetic acid, up to 18%.
Being a mixture, Vinegar does not have a single molecular formula. The chemical composition of each of its constituents will have to be known. However, the molecular formula of its major constituent can be considered to be its own formula. That component is acetic acid.
It comes in various forms, that include white vinegar, apple cider, balsamic, and brown vinegar. White and apple cider vinegar's formula will be the same as that of acetic acid, as it is the prime chemical component in all of them.
We can assume the chemical formula of Vinegar the same as the chemical formula of Acetic acid as it is the primary component present in it which endows most of its property to Vinegar.

Vinegar Chemical Formula (Acetic Acid) = CH3COOH
The molecular structure of acetic acid can be pictured by understanding this molecular formula. The first carbon atom is attached to three hydrogen atoms and the second carbon atom. While the second carbon atom, besides being attached to the first, is connected with an oxygen atom (=O) and a hydroxyl (- OH) group.
The molecular mass of Acetic acid in vinegar is 60.5 gm/mole. It is a weak carboxylic acid, with a pH value ranging from 2 to 3. Besides acetic acid, it consists water and other flavor chemicals, which vary according to the source of synthesis.
Acetic acid is formally named as 'Ethanoic Acid' in the IUPAC nomenclature. Vinegar can basically be classified as a diluted aqueous solution of acetic acid, with added flavors and nutrients derived from an alcohol source. The mixture is created by acid fermentation of alcohol (ethanol), by a species of bacteria called the Azotobacter.
The alcohol source used for its creation may be fermented malt, grain, potato, rice, wine, or apple cider. In presence of oxygen, the azotobacter acts on the alcohol, bringing about its oxidation and creating vinegar.
The synthesis of Vinegar through oxidative fermentation can be summarized as follows:

C2H5OH (Ethanol)+ O2 CH3COOH (Acetic Acid) + H2O
The first forms of vinegar were probably produced from a wine making process gone wrong. If wine is created at too high a temperature, the azotobacter thrive and convert the alcohol created by yeast, into vinegar.
The acetic acid in vinegar marginally dissociates in the presence of water, into ions of (CH3COO-) and Hydrogen ions (H+). It is widely used in cooking as a preservative and a condiment. It is also used as a cleaning chemical and has medicinal uses in the treatment of jellyfish stings.
The Acetic acid in Vinegar derives a lot of other compounds in the form of enzymes, fibers, minerals, and vitamins, from the source material of its synthesis. They add to its nutritional value and provide many health benefits. Studying the chemical basis of various ingredients in cooking, will convince you that it is indeed applied chemistry.