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. Foods2017, 6, 89.
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.
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 GC-FID and GC-MS respectively. The pH of chang’aa was 3.3-4.2 and 4.4-8.8 for licit spirit drinks while ranges for alcoholic strength were 42.8-85.8 % vol. and 28.3-56.7% vol. 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.
artisanal spirit; alcohol strength; volatiles
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