Acetic acid is one of the simplest carboxylic acids. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical that is used in the production of plastic soft drink bottles, photographic film; and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as many synthetic fibres and fabrics. In households diluted acetic acid is often used as a cleaning agent. In the food industry acetic acid is used as an acidity regulator. The acetyl group, derived from acetic acid, is fundamental to the biochemistry of virtually all forms of life. When bound to coenzyme A it is central to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. However, the concentration of free acetic acid in cells is kept at a low level to avoid disrupting the control of the pH of the cell contents. Acetic acid is produced and excreted by certain bacteria, notably the Acetobacter genus and Clostridium acetobutylicum. These bacteria are found universally in foodstuffs, water, and soil, and acetic acid is produced naturally as fruits and some other foods spoil. Acetic acid is also a component of the vaginal lubrication of humans and other primates, where it appears to serve as a mild antibacterial agent. Acetic acid is found to be associated with phenylketonuria, which is an inborn error of metabolism.
Storage Information: Hygroscopic. Keep tightly closed.