Vinegar is known by the scientific name dilute acetic acid. Acetic acid typically composes between 4 and 18 percent of vinegar. Other names for acetic acid are ethanoic acid, hydrogen acetate and methanecarboxylic acid. It may be abbreviated as AcOH.
The chemical formula for dilute acetic acid is CH3COOH. The acid is produced through a fermentation reaction between ethanol and acetic acid bacteria. Using fast production methods, this process can be completed in a period ranging from 20 hours to three days. Table vinegar has a concentration of acetic acid on the lower end of the range, while packaged products, such as pickles, have a higher concentration.