Acetic acid bacteria strategies contributing to acetic acid resistance during oxidative fermentation

Cristina Andres-Barrao, François Barja*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Vinegar was discovered fortuitously in ancient times when wine stored undisturbed in the open air turned spontaneously into vinegar. Since then, in addition to other benefits for humankind, vinegar has for long been used as a food preservative for its ability to kill the majority of microorganisms. The bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of vinegar are due to acetic acid (4-6 per cent in commercial vinegars) (Solieri and Giudici 2009), a weak organic acid that is commonly added to food products to avoid microbial spoilage. Low concentration of acetic acid of 0.1-0.17 per cent has been able to inhibit the growth of important food-borne pathogens, such as Proteus vulgaris, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) (Levine and Fellers 1940, Entani et al. 1998, Ryssel et al. 2009, Fraise et al. 2013). The capacity of biofilm-forming bacteria to resist antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents can cause persistence of chronic infections. Treatment with 0.5-1 per cent acetic acid has been proved to be effective in eradicating three-day-old flow chamber biofilm of P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus (Bjarnsholt et al. 2015). Disinfectant treatment using low percentage of acetic acid (vinegar) is also effective in killing Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as other very resistant mycobacteria and can prove to be an effective alternative to the toxic and expensive mycobactericidal agents that are currently used (Cortesia et al. 2014).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcetic Acid Bacteria
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and Food Applications
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781498763707
ISBN (Print)9781498763691
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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