Determination Of The Level Of Ethanol In Alcoholic Beverages Produced In Nigeria As An Indication For Safety Standard

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Determination Of The Level Of Ethanol In Alcoholic Beverages Produced In Nigeria As An Indication For Safety Standard


This project is a survey of level of alcohol in beverages produced in Nigeria and to ascertain the compliance of the producers in accordance with accepted values on WHO recommendation. Six brands of alcoholic beverages (Guilders, star Harp, Heineken, Stout and Legend) were bought in Awka in Anambra state. The samples were analyzed for level of alcohol (Ethanol) using acid dichromate reaction and visible spectroscopy methods. The result obtained for bottom fermented beers; Guilders 5.1, star 5.3, Harp 5.2, Heineken 5.1, top fermented beer Stout 7.2 and Legend6.5 were compared with the European Brewing convention standard of 5.1+0.2 and 7.3+0.2 for bottom and top fermented beer respectively. The result showed , permissible levels for each of the six samples analyzed which are within acceptable limit except for legend stout with alcohol content of 6.5 against 7.3+ 0.2 which is the European Brewing convention standard for top fermented beer. The six samples are within the acceptable limit.

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Types of alcoholic beverages and their energy values.
  • Table 2: The approximate alcohol content of beverages in the OIML scale.
  • Table 3: Effects of various levels of Alcohol in the body.
  • Table 4: Standard ethanol solutions and blank preparations.
  • Table 5: Results of absorbance of blank, standard solutions and test samples.
  • Table 6: Results of weight percent of samples as determined from the graph.
  • Table 7: Alcohol content of samples.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the study

An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol (commonly called alcohol), also called ethylalcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol or drinking alcohol. It is a volatile flammable colorless liquid. It is a powerful psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. It is best known as the type of alcohol found in alcohol beverages and thermometer. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirit (Brain and Allan, 2005).

Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes, beer, wines and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production and consumption. In particular, such laws specify the minimum age at which a person may legally buy or drink the minimum age varies between 16 and 25 years, depending upon the country and the type of drink. Most nations set it at 18 years of age. Alcohol beverages are valued on account of their flavour and their stimulating effect and hardly at all as a source of energy; nevertheless, it is worth nothing that the energy value of dry wine is about equal to that of milk.

The three classes of alcoholic beverages are all made from carbohydrate materials by fermentation and their particular ingredient used and the way in which it is processed chiefly determines the character of the drink. The starting material used depends upon the product required. For example whisky is made from grain, Rum from molasses, wine from grapes, beer from malt and cider from apples (Morris Jacobs, 2009). The production and consumption of alcohols occurs in most cultures of the world, from hunter gatherer people to nation states.

1.2 Statement of the Problem.

Alcoholic beverages are often an important part of social event in these cultures. In many cultures, drinking plays a significant role in social interaction-mainly because of alcohol’s neurological effects. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug that has depressant effect. A high blood alcohol content is usually considered to be legal drunkenness because it reduces attention and slows reaction speed. Alcohol can be additive, and the state of addition to alcohol is known as alcoholism (Bamforth, 2006).

Alcohol-specifically ethanol (ethyl alcohol, EtOH, CH3CH2OH) is the most socially accepted additive drug, which can have life threatening health hazards, its pleasures are very widely acknowledged and form a bond of community for the majority of adults in Western countries. References to those pleasures from a kind of “standing joke” physical and mental discordination (disorientation are viewed with bemused affection).

1.3 Objectives of the study

The main objective is to analyze and determine the level of ethanol beverages made in Nigeria.

The specific objective that will achieve the following

  1. To ascertain the quality of alcoholic beverages produced in Nigeria.
  2. To identify if there is proper monitoring and quality control

Alcoholic beverages are a standard lubricant (anxiety-reliever) at social gatherings and those who refuse to consume ethanol run the risk of being social outcasts.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Health benefits are frequently claimed for alcohol when consumed in moderation. Most of the claimed benefits are associated with reducing cardiovascular disease. However alcohol health implication vulmently out weights its health benefit. This project is a survey of level of alcohol in beverages produced in Nigeria and to ascertain the complains of the producer in accordance with accepted values of EBC/WHO recommendation

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study include the sampling and analysis of made in Nigeria Alcoholic beverage to determine the level of ethanol using acid dichromate reaction and visible spectroscopy methods.

To compare the results with that of WHO acceptable standard.

1.6 Research Questions

  1. What are the methods employed in the determination of ethanol in alcoholic beverages.
  2. What are the effect of alcohol to the human health.
  3. Does made in Nigeria alcoholic beverages meets the international acceptable standard.

Chapter Five

Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Discussion

From the analysis performed with different brands of beer sold in Anambra State to ascertain their percentage by volume of alcohol (%v/v) content ethanol). The result obtained from bottom fermented beers were Guilder 5.1, star 5.3, Harp 5.2 and Heineken 5.1, while the result for top fermented beers stout 7.2 and legend 6.5. These value obtained serves as a good indication that all the above bottom fermented samples conform with the standard permissible limit or level given b the European brewing standard of 5.1 + 0.2 and 7.3 + 0.2 for bottom fermented and top fermented beer respectively, expect the Guinness legend with a lower value of 6.5 percent alcohol by volume against 7.3 + 0.2 specified by the European Brewing convention for top fermented beers. This shows that the fermentation processes for the conversion of sugars to ethanol in all samples were frequent and that the amount of alcohol in the samples is within the recommended range

5.2 Conclusion

This research work has show that most of the alcoholic beverages (beer) analyzed are within the population of the European Brewery convention and should be consumed in little quantity. This is to enable the alcoholic beverages perform nutritional and nutritional and health functions, because excess of it results in cancer, liver cirrohosis, high blood pressure, brain and heart damage

5.3 Recommendation

Alcoholic beverage (beer) has some nutritional value in that it quenches thirst, stimulates appetite, assist in digestion, has powerful diuretic effect and soporific effect, despite those health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation as alcohol in small concentration in the blood impairs the adequate functioning of the liver, brain and heart.

Also alcohol should not be consumed with an empty stomach as this hastens the absorption and diseases the concentration of alcohol in the blood stream. Alcohol though it contains energy, should not the only source of energy as it works on all most all important organs of the body simultaneously.

It is suggested that further research should be carried out on other beer characteristics such as foam stability, content, bitterness and turbidity as all has various functions towards good shelf life.

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