Glacial Acetic Acid, Food Grade

Glacial acetic acid is, more simply, undiluted acetic acid. This undiluted form makes it highly corrosive. Colorless and organic, glacial acetic acid has a variety of uses in foods and is generally marketed as a crystalline solid. Glacial acetic acid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from its surrounding environment. Because it is a weak acid, glacial acetic acid does not completely dissociate in an aqueous solution. The food ingredient supplier Bell Chem offers the following examples of glacial acetic acid’s many uses.

As the main component of vinegar, acetic acid is 3-18% of vinegar’s volume by mass, with water comprising the remainder. Vinegar is commonly used as a condiment as well as a pickling agent in canning. Although glacial acetic acid is used in other fields more commonly, its oldest and most renowned role is as the forerunner to vinegar.

With its distinctive sour taste and powerful odor, the addition of glacial acetic acid in food changes the flavor of many foods. The sour tang of pickles, sweet and sour chips, and sourdough bread are derived from glacial acetic acid.

Used as an antiseptic, glacial acetic acid is an antibacterial agent, disinfecting food preparation surfaces against staphylococci, streptococci, pseudomonas, enterococci, and other bacteria. Skin infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa may be cleared with glacial acetic acid when the infection proves resistant to traditional antibiotics.

The World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines includes acetic acid as an important medication necessary in a basic health system. As a matter of fact, acetic acid has been a staple in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Ear infections (otitis externa) are often alleviated with acetic acid. Impacted cerumen (ear wax), plantar warts, nail fungus, and impetigo can all be reduced with acetic acid.


Glacial acetic acid can be utilized on tabletops as an antibacterial agent, in canning and storing foods, and as a condiment to cook or bake foods. In other words, almost every step of your meal can contain this useful ingredient. Your food ingredient supplier, Bell Chem, is only a phone call away at 407-339-2355 (BELL) to answer your questions concerning any food additive or chemical in their inventory. Read the information in our blogs to learn about chemicals, additives, oils, and many other supplies in our vast inventory.