Acetic acid can be produced by the catalytic oxidation of acetaldehyde, which in turn is produced by the catalytic hydration of acetylene or by the catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol. The undesirable formic acid and formaldehyde are eliminated by distillation. The acetic acid is purified before diluting to 60-80% by volume to obtain the vinegar essence. This in turn is diluted to 4-5% in the generation of food grade 'vinegar'. Sugar, salt and colour may be added. In the United Kingdom, such a product must be labelled 'non-brewed condiment'.
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