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Vinegar means ‘sour wine’ and its production involves two successive fermentation processes:

(i)        Conversion of sugary (e.g., grape juice) or starchy material (e.g., barley) to ethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae:

C6H12O6      →        2C2HsOH + CO2

(ii)      After removal of the yeast, conversion of ethanol to acetic acid is achieved by the bacterium Acetobacter aceti:

C2H5OH + O2     →      CH3COOH + H2O

The species of Acetobacter for vinegar production should be tolerant to ethanol. The vinegar contains 4% acetic acid and small amount of alcohol.

Some species of Acetobacter should be avoided that continue the oxidation of acetic acid to CO2:

CH3COOH + O2    →     2CO2 + 2H2O