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E260: Acetic acid

Ethanoic acid

Natural acid, present in most fruits. Produced by bacterial fermentation and thus present in all fermented products. Commercially produced by bacterial fermentation of sugar, molasses or alcohol or by chemical synthesis from acetealdehyde.

Function & characteristics:
Acetic acid is used as a preservative against bacteria and fungi. In mayonnaise it is added to increase the inactivation of Salmonella . The highest activity is at low pH. It can also be used as a buffer in acidic foods. It is also used as an aroma component.

Many different (acidic) products

Daily intake:
no limit.

Side effects :
No side effects, it is a normal component of all body cells. Should only be avoided by people who have a (very rare) vinegar intolerance.

Dietary restrictions :
None, acetic acid and acetates can be consumed by all religious groups, vegans and vegetarians. Although it may be produced from alcohol, it does not contain any alcohol.


European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

Master in Food Safety Law is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands