Author(s): Nikander P, Seppl T, Kilonzo GP, Huttunen P, Saarinen L,
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Abstract Home-made but commercially available alcoholic beverages were collected in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and analysed for their congener alcohol, additive, aflatoxin and heavy metal contents. Ethanol concentrations of the 15 brewed samples ranged from 2.2 to 8.5\% w/v whilst the 2 distilled samples contained ethanol 24.2 and 29.3\% w/v. Aflatoxin B1 was found in 9 brewed beverages, suggesting the use of contaminated grain or fruit for their production. The amount of zinc in 4 samples was double the World Health Organization recommended maximum for drinking water (5 mg/litre). One brewed beverage contained toxic amount of manganese (12.8 mg/litre). Both distilled spirits were rich in fusel alcohols and one was fortified by caffeine. The results suggested that impurities and contaminants possibly associated with severe health risks, including carcinogens, are often found in traditional alcoholic beverages. Continuous daily drinking of these beverages is certain to increase health risks. Contaminated grain or fruit rejected from foodstuff production should not be used for the production of alcoholic beverages.
This article was published in Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg
and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research