Record Information
Creation date2015-10-09 22:31:04 UTC
Update date2017-01-19 02:36:26 UTC
FoodComEx IDPC000510
FoodDB RecordFDB008297
Chemical Information
DescriptionAcetaldehyde, also known as ethanal, belongs to the class of organic compounds known as short-chain aldehydes. These are aldehydes with a chain length containing between 2 and 5 carbon atoms. Acetaldehyde is an extremely weak basic (essentially neutral) compound (based on its pKa). Acetaldehyde exists in all living species, ranging from bacteria to humans. Within humans, acetaldehyde participates in a number of enzymatic reactions. In particular, acetaldehyde can be biosynthesized from ethanol; which is mediated by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase 1B. In addition, acetaldehyde can be converted into acetic acid; which is mediated by mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenases. Industrially, the main method of production of acetaldehyde is via the oxidation of ethylene via the Wacker process. In the 1970s, the world capacity of the Wacker-Hoechst direct oxidation process for producing acetaldehyde exceeded 2 million tonnes annually. Acetaldehyde is found in a number of different foods, such as sweet oranges, pineapples, and mandarin orange (clementine, tangerine), Acetaldehyde has also been detected, but not quantified in, several different foods, such as malabar plums, malus (crabapple), rose hips, natal plums, and medlars. This could make acetaldehyde a potential biomarker for the consumption of these foods. As a food constituent, acetaldehyde is an aldehydic, ethereal, and fruity tasting compound. Acetaldehyde is formally rated as a possible carcinogen (by IARC 2B) and is also a potentially toxic compound. Acetaldehyde has been found to be associated with several diseases such as alcoholism, ulcerative colitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and Crohn's disease. Acetaldehyde has also been linked to several inborn metabolic disorders including aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (III). The level at which an average consumer can detect acetaldehyde is still considerably lower than any toxicity. Pathways of exposure include air, water, land, or groundwater, as well as drink and smoke. Plastics Acetaldehyde is also created by thermal degradation or ultraviolet photo-degradation of some thermoplastic polymers during or after manufacture. Acetaldehyde is known to be the most abundant carcinogen in tobacco smoke; it is easily dissolved in saliva while smoking (PMID:17382522, PMID:21556207).
CAS Number75-07-0
Acetic aldehydebiospider
Acetic ethanolbiospider
Ethyl aldehydebiospider
FEMA 2003db_source
Chemical FormulaC2H4O
IUPAC nameacetaldehyde
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C2H4O/c1-2-3/h2H,1H3
Average Molecular Weight44.0526
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight44.02621475
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as short-chain aldehydes. These are an aldehyde with a chain length containing between 2 and 5 carbon atoms.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic oxygen compounds
ClassOrganooxygen compounds
Sub ClassCarbonyl compounds
Direct ParentShort-chain aldehydes
Alternative Parents
  • Organic oxide
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Short-chain aldehyde
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Experimental logP-0.34TSCATS
Experimental Water Solubility1000 mg/mL at 25 oCRIDDICK,JA et al. (1986)
Melting PointMp -121°DFC
Foods of Origin
FoodContent Range AverageReference
Production Data
Production Methodcommercial
Production Method ReferenceNot Available
Production Method Reference FileNot Available
Quantity AvailableProduction upon request, up to 20 mg
Delivery TimeNot Available
Storage Formsolid
Storage Conditions-80°C
StabilityNot Available
PurityNot Available
Spectral Data Upon RequestNot Available
Provider Information
Contact NameContact InstitutionContact Email
Rosa Vazquez
Commercial Vendors
Toronto Research Chemicals A132600