What Is the Chemical Composition of Vinegar?

Acetic Acid and Other Compounds in Vinegar

Acetic acid is the primary acid in vinegar.
Acetic acid is the primary acid in vinegar. Cacycle, Wikipedia Commons

Vinegar is a liquid that is produced from the fermentation of ethanol into acetic acid. The fermentation is carried out by bacteria.

Vinegar consists of acetic acid (CH3COOH), water and trace amounts of other chemicals, which may include flavorings. The concentration of the acetic acid is variable. Distilled vinegar contains 5-8% acetic acid. Spirit of vinegar is a stronger form of vinegar that contains 5-20% acetic acid.

Flavorings may include sweeteners, such as sugar or fruit juices. Infusions of herbs, spices and other flavors may be added, too.