How are non-alcoholic beverages made

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Do non-alcoholic drinks really contain no alcohol? How is non-alcoholic sparkling wine * made, and why can other drinks and food also contain traces of alcohol? These and other questions are answered here.

THE PRODUCTION OF ALCOHOL-FREE WINE PRODUCTS

The traditional company Rotkäppchen-Mumm uses in the production of its alcohol-free specialtiesstate-of-the-art manufacturing process, that is unique in the German sparkling wine industry and sets high standards. But no matter which technology is used in the production of sparkling wine: a certain amount of residual alcohol always remains in the finished product.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NON-ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC

The designationwithout alcohol According to German law, food may only be carried if it really does not contain any alcohol, i.e. the alcohol content is 0.0%. Since this has so far only been technologically possible to a limited extent for wine products without completely distorting the taste, the term alcohol-free applies here: According to German food law, beverages are allowed asnon-alcoholic which contain a maximum of 0.5% alcohol. A glass of non-alcoholic sparkling wine * (100ml) therefore contains a maximum of half a milliliter of alcohol (0.5 ml). For comparison: a normal bottle of beer (500 ml) contains about fifty times the amount of alcohol (25 ml).

CLEAR RULES FOR LABELING NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Not only the alcohol content of the drinks is regulated by law, but also their name. According to this, a product may only be called sparkling wine if a second alcoholic fermentation has taken place. Since this is not the case with the non-alcoholic version, the words "Foaming drink made from non-alcoholic wine" are written on the bottles instead. The basis for this is §47 of the Wine Ordinance.

FOOD MAY ALSO CONTAIN ALCOHOL

In the food sector, alcohol has long been used as a preservative, and as an ingredient or solvent it is what gives many dishes their special taste. In these cases one speaks ofFoods with hidden alcohol content. But there are also foods with a natural alcohol content: Alcohol is produced in fruits, fruit juices and bread through the natural fermentation process. Since it is found “naturally” in the food, it does not have to be declared when it is sold.

If you want to avoid food containing alcohol completely, you must always have a look at the list of ingredients and ask in retail and in the catering trade whether the dishes were prepared with alcohol. Otherwise, it is sufficient to know that, for example, grape juice or ripe bananas can sometimes have a higher alcohol content than a glass of non-alcoholic sparkling wine *, non-alcoholic wine or non-alcoholic beer.

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* Foaming drink made from non-alcoholic wine