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Chemical Principles 8th Edition

Chemical Principles (8th Edition)

Book Edition8th Edition
Author(s)DeCoste, Zumdahl
ISBN9781305581982
PublisherCengage Learning
SubjectChemistry
Section 7.2: Acid Strength
Critical Thinking
Section 7.3: The pH Scale
Critical Thinking
Section 7.5: Calculating the pH of Weak Acid Solutions
Critical Thinking
Section 7.7: Polyprotic Acids
Critical Thinking
End of Chapter
Marathon Problem
Chapter 7, Section 7.2, Critical Thinking, Exercise 01
Page 201

Vinegar contains acetic acid and is used in salad dressings. What if acetic acid was a strong acid instead of a weak acid? Would it be safe to use

vinegar as a salad dressing?

Explanation

Vinegar (acetic acid) as a salad dressing serves to inhibit germination of pathogen-forming spores. Weak acids like acetic acid is effective in battling bacteria since its pH (</= 4.5) is the right level to battle these kinds of organisms.


One reason for its bacteria-fighting ability is the presence of its undissociated acid form, this is true only for weak acids. For strong acid, they fully dissociates to their ionic forms; thus, they have zero amount of undissociated acid.


Moreover, high acidity can affect the contents of the salad itself. It may degrade some nutrition from the food and it can detrimentally affect the stomach by making the insides of the stomach too acidic.


Ref: https://extension.sdstate.edu/making-safe-salad-dressing

Answer

Vinegar (acetic acid) as a salad dressing serves to inhibit germination of pathogen-forming spores. Weak acids like acetic acid is effective in battling bacteria since its pH (</= 4.5) is the right level to battle these kinds of organisms.

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