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Foods 2017, 6(10), 89; doi:10.3390/foods6100089

High Ethanol Contents of Spirit Drinks in Kibera Slums, Kenya: Implications for Public Health

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Nairobi, Nairobi P.O. Box 19676-00202, Kenya
2
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Straße 3, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 30 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
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Abstract

Cheap licit and artisanal illicit spirit drinks have been associated with numerous outbreaks of alcohol poisoning especially with methanol. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of cheap spirit drinks in Kibera slums in Nairobi County, Kenya. The samples consisted of cheap licit spirits (n = 11) and the artisanal spirit drink, ‘chang’aa’, (n = 28). The parameters of alcoholic strength and volatile composition were used as indicators of quality and were determined using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) respectively. The ranges for alcoholic strength were 42.8–85.8% vol and 28.3–56.7% vol for chang’aa and licit spirit drinks respectively, while the pH ranges were 3.3–4.2 and 4.4–4.8 for chang’aa and licit spirit drinks respectively. The majority of volatiles were found in artisanal spirits and they included higher alcohols, ethyl esters and carbonyl compounds. The alcoholic strength of all the artisanal spirits (100%) and 91% of the licit spirits was above the 40% vol of standard spirits such as vodka. The high ethanol content of the alcohol products was the only element of public health significance in this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: artisanal spirit; alcoholic strength; volatiles artisanal spirit; alcoholic strength; volatiles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Okaru, A.O.; Abuga, K.O.; Kibwage, I.O.; Lachenmeier, D.W. High Ethanol Contents of Spirit Drinks in Kibera Slums, Kenya: Implications for Public Health. Foods 2017, 6, 89.

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