Ethanol Content of Foods and Drinks

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Food NameEthanol
Beer, ale4.1
Beer, bitter3.9
Beer, home-brewed3.8
Beer, lager3.9
Beer, carbohydrate-modified3.6
Beer, stout5.6
Beer, reduced alcohol or light beer2.1
Beer, reduced alcohol or light beer, home-brewed2.1
Beer, low alcohol (<1% alcohol v/v)0.7
Beer, draught3.3
Wine, red9.6
Wine, rose8.6
Wine, red, sparkling9.9
Wine, red, cooked3.3

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information from the National Institutes of Health

Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. A psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs known, ethanol produces a state known as alcohol intoxication when consumed. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a solvent, and as a fuel. In common usage, ethanol is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.

We have 2 ethanol / alcohol content of foods and drinks databases.

This one is based on the Australian nutrient database,
for the US database, please use
Alcohol Content of US Foods and Drinks.

Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much

Although many people enjoy moderate drinking, defined as 1 drink per day for women or 2 for men, drinking too much can lead to an overdose. An overdose of alcohol occurs when a person has a blood alcohol content (or BAC) sufficient to produce impairments that increase the risk of harm. Overdoses can range in severity, from problems with balance and slurred speech to coma or even death. What tips the balance from drinking that has pleasant effects to drinking that can cause harm varies among individuals? Age, drinking experience, gender, the amount of food eaten, even ethnicity all can influence how much is too much.

Underage drinkers may be at particular risk for alcohol overdose. Research shows that people under age 20 typically drink about 5 drinks at one time. Drinking such a large quantity of alcohol can overwhelm the body’s ability to break down and clear alcohol from the bloodstream. This leads to rapid increases in BAC and significantly impairs brain function.

As BAC increases, so do alcohol’s effects—as well as the risk for harm. Even small increases in BAC can decrease coordination, make a person feel sick, and cloud judgment. This can lead to injury from falls or car crashes, leave one vulnerable to sexual assault or other acts of violence, and increase the risk for unprotected or unintended sex. When BACs go even higher amnesia (or blackouts) can occur.

Continuing to drink despite clear signs of significant impairments can result in a potentially deadly type of overdose called alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning occurs when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that areas of the brain controlling basic life support functions—such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control—begin to shut down. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion; difficulty remaining conscious; vomiting; seizures; trouble with breathing; slow heart rate; clammy skin; dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking); and extremely low body temperature.

BAC can continue to rise even when a person is unconscious. Alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.

It is dangerous to assume that an unconscious person will be fine by sleeping it off. Alcohol acts as a depressant, hindering signals in the brain that control automatic responses such as the gag reflex. Alcohol also can irritate the stomach, causing vomiting. With no gag reflex, a person who drinks to the point of passing out is in danger of choking on vomit, which, in turn, could lead to death by asphyxiation. Even if the drinker survives, an alcohol overdose can lead to long-lasting brain damage.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, get medical help immediately. Cold showers, hot coffee, or walking will not reverse the effects of alcohol overdose and could actually make things worse.

Ethanol content of various foods and soft drinks and their potential for interference with a breath-alcohol test.

A variety of breads and soft drinks were tested and found to contain low concentrations of alcohol. The potential for these products to generate false readings on an evidential breath-alcohol instrument was evaluated. Alcohol-free subjects ingested these products and then provided breath samples into a DataMaster. It was found that breath samples provided immediately after consumption of some of these products, or with them still present in the mouth, did produce low levels of apparent breath alcohol, which may or may not be rejected as invalid by the breath-test instrument. If the subject swallowed or expectorated the food or beverage and then observed a 15-min deprivation period during which nothing was introduced into the mouth, the apparent effect was eliminated. These findings emphasize the need for the mandatory pretest alcohol-deprivation period and the benefits of duplicate breath sampling.

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