Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Acetic acid

Background Info:

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Immune Reactions I Non-Immune Reactions I Occupational

One of the oldest known preservatives. Vinegar from alcohol in beer, cider or wine is formed from the action of Acetobacter bacterium on these products. Also from the distillation of wood. Occurs naturally at low concentrations in some fruits (apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, pineapples, strawberries) as well as in cheese, cocoa, coffee, skimmed milk. See also Potassium acetate, Sodium acetate, Calcium acetate.




No Allergens characterised

Immune Reactions:

Skin reactions include irritation or itching, hives, overgrowth of organisms that do not respond to germ-killers. Its vapours are capable of producing lung obstruction. Acetic acid, a metabolite of ethanol, is a potential allergen in the context of hypersensitivity to alcoholic beverages. (Boehncke 1996 ref.2729 3)

Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2014


A 25-year old patient suffered from urticaria and acute anaphylactoid symptoms after ingestion of alcoholic beverages. The Pricktest for acetic acid (5%) and for acetaldehyde (50 and 100%) was positive. The symptoms could be reproduced in an oral provocation test with pure ethanol (20%). According to the authors, an immunological pathomechanism of this intolerance reaction reported is possible, and the authors state that what is unusual in this case, is that the patient exhibited a positive Pricktest to acetaldehyde and acetic acid additionally. Acetaldehyde was considered as a hapten which may have resulted in the activation of an immunologically mediated alcohol intolerance reaction. (Schwarzenbach-Stöckli 2007 ref.20077 8)

Schwarzenbach-Stöckli S, Bircher AJ. Alkoholintoleranz bei Überempfindlichkeit gegenüber Acetaldehyd und Essigsäure Allergologie 2007


Non-Immune Reactions:

Long-term consumption of large doses can cause damage to teeth and to the liver. Splash of vinegar in eye can injure corneal epithelium, and very little glacial (pure) acetic acid capable of perforating the oesophagus. Cancer in rats or mice (orally or by injection).

Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2014



OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE: Medical staff Occupational asthma in hospital employees. (Quirce 1998 ref.2386 6)

Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2014



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Allergy Advisor  - Food Additive and Preservative Allergy and Intolerance Database