Cachaça is a sugar cane spirit produced in Brazil. Ethyl carbamate (EC), a potential carcinogenic compound, may be present in cachaça above the limit established by law. The purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of ethyl carbamate in cachaças recently produced in Brazil in order to verify their compliance with the law. The concentration of ethyl carbamate was determined in 376 samples of cachaça through gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (GC-MS). The mean value of ethyl carbamate in the cachaças analyzed was 145 µg/L, and 24% of them were not in compliancy with the law (EC < 210 µg/L). However, compared to previous studies, advances have been observed regarding the adjustment of cachaças to the legal limit. Cachaças produced in large distilleries through continuous column distillation presented a mean value of 200 µg/L of ethyl carbamate. Cachaças produced in small distilleries using pot still distillation presented a mean content of 74 µg/L. Small producers have been more engaged in using good manufacturing practices to guarantee the quality of cachaças.
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