Fate of ethanol during cooking of liquid foods prepared with alcoholic beverages: Theory and experimental studies

Food Chem. 2017 Sep 1:230:234-240. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.03.034. Epub 2017 Mar 9.


To obtain an understanding of the ethanol loss during cooking of liquid foods containing alcoholic beverages, ethanol concentration was measured as a function of time and remaining volume in meat stocks prepared with wine and beer. A mathematical model describing the decline in volatile compounds during heating of simple liquid foods was derived. The experimental results and the model show that concentration of ethanol at any given time is determined by the initial concentration and a power law function of the remaining volume fraction. The power law function is found to be independent of factors like pot dimensions and temperature. When using a lid to cover the pot during cooking, the model was still valid but the ethanol concentrations decreased more steeply, corresponding to a higher exponent. The results provide a theoretical and empirical guideline for predicting the ethanol concentration in cooked liquid foods.

Keywords: Alcoholic beverages; Cooking; Distillation; Ethanol; Evaporation; Henry’s law; Liquid foods; Loss of volatiles; Meat stock; Power law function.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / analysis*
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Ethanol / chemistry*
  • Food*


  • Ethanol