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Sodium acetate

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sodium acetate

Sodium acetate is a chemical with the compound CH3COONa. It is the sodium salt of acetic acid. Sodium acetate is an irritant, but has many uses.

Sodium acetate is added to food as a seasoning, sometimes in the form of sodium diacetate, a one-to-one complex of sodium acetate and acetic acid, with the E-number E262. It is often used to give potato chips a salt and vinegar flavour. It is used as a substitute for vinegar on potato chips as it doesn't add moisture to the final product. Sodium acetate (anhydrous) is widely used to extend shelf-life and to control pH. It is safe to eat at low concentration.[1]

Sodium acetate is used to reduce the effects of water damage to concrete. It does this by acting as a concrete sealant. Compared to epoxy, which is commonly used, sodium acetate is cheaper and does not damage the environment.[2]

It is also used in heating pads, hand warmers, and hot ice.[3]


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While sodium acetate is usually purchased, it can be produced in the laboratory by the reaction of acetic acid with sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium hydroxide.

Industrially, sodium acetate trihydrate is prepared by reacting acetic acid with sodium hydroxide using water as the solvent.


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  1. Austen, Ian (2018-06-09). "The Secret Story of Salt and Vinegar Chips: the Canada Letter". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  2. "Potato Chip Flavoring Boosts Longevity Of Concrete". Science Daily. 8 August 2007.
  3. "How do sodium-acetate heat pads work?". HowStuffWorks. 2000-04-01. Retrieved 2023-12-11.