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What Foods Have Alcohol In Them?

Battling an alcohol use disorder is complex, and staying sober can be even more so when so many substances contain alcohol—including some foods. At our alcohol addiction treatment center, Promises, we can help you understand what foods contain alcohol and how that affects you. Contact Promises at 844.875.5609.

Why Do Some Foods Contain Alcohol?

Bacteria in fruits and yeasts in breads interact with sugars as they would in the process of creating an alcoholic drink, causing a fermentation process to begin. This leads to sugars breaking down into alcohol and carbon dioxide. All fermented foods, including yogurts, contain alcohol, as do fruits and fruit juices. 

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Bread and Other Baked Goods With Yeast

The yeast and other bacteria you find in bread create small quantities of alcohol during the fermentation process that allows the bread to rise. French-style sweet milk rolls and American-style burger rolls contain the most alcohol, coming in at 1.2 grams of ethanol per 100 grams. For comparison, a standard drink has 14 grams of ethanol. 

The type of bread with the least amount of alcohol is pumpernickel bread, with 0.03 grams of ethanol. 

Very Ripe Bananas

Fruits begin to ferment as they ripen, especially those high in sugar — like bananas. Eating them as they begin forming dark spots can mean consuming about 0.05g of alcohol. 

Kombucha and Other Fermented Drinks

Kombucha and kefir are very popular drinks these days, and both are labeled as non-alcoholic. The problem is that because they are fermented, they do contain a small amount of alcohol. Kombucha can have as much as 3% alcohol, which, though less than a standard drink, is still too much for someone recovering from alcohol addiction. 

Other fermented drinks to watch for include:

  • Ginger beer
  • Kvass
  • Tepache

Kefir has a much smaller amount of alcohol, coming in at only 0.02 grams.

Some Fruit Juices

Fruit juices aren’t fermented, but they can start creating alcohol if they come into contact with heat. Grape juice is the type that contains the most alcohol, which is still less than 1 gram, while apple juice is the one with the least alcohol. 

Mustard and Other Condiments

So does mustard have alcohol? The answer’s yes. Like other condiments, mustard has trace amounts of alcohol. It’s made with alcohol vinegar and malt vinegar, and some of them also use white wine in the production process. 

Vinegar itself often contains alcohol because alcohol can reduce the astringency of pure vinegar. Wine vinegar has the most alcohol content. 

Soy sauce is another common condiment that contains alcohol.

Flavoring and Extracts

Both pure and artificial extracts flavorings and extracts contain alcohol. In fact, vanilla extract has to have at least 35% alcohol by U.S. law, but the content can be much higher. 

Some Soft Drinks

The high sugar content in some soft drinks makes them more likely to contain trace amounts of alcohol. Keep in mind that some manufacturers also use ethanol as carriers for natural flavoring materials without having to label this use, increasing the alcohol content. 

Staying Sober With Help From Promises’ Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you are battling an alcohol use disorder, knowing what foods have alcohol in them and can put you at risk is important. At Promises, we offer help understanding what can affect your sobriety, giving you the guidance you need to maintain it.  

Learn more about our many treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction so that you can start healing. Contact Promises right now by calling 844.875.5609.

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