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Ethanoic acid / Acetic acid / CH_3-C=O-OH / CH_3COOH is a weak, organic, carboxylic acid. It is also called "vinegar". It is used in the food stuff as a preservative, and also as a reagent for the synthesis of many compounds, like esters: CH_3-CO=O-CH_2-CH_3 / CH_3COOC_2H_5 also called ethyl ethanoate is formed from this acid and ethyl alcohol (CH_3-CH_2-OH / C_2H_5OH).