Are nonalcoholic drinks really alcohol-free?
It’s a great question!
The short answer is it depends. Not quite the answer you were looking for, right?
But before you decide to put down your glass, let’s take a second to better understand the term “alcohol-free”.
In most European countries, the terms alcohol-free and non-alcoholic basically mean the same thing. It counts as alcohol-free as long as it’s less than 0.05% of alcohol at maximum.
Many people are surprised to learn that alcohol can be found in lots of everyday foods and drinks.
A litre of apple or orange juice can contain up to 0.7g of alcohol per litre.
A ripe banana? 0.2g per 100g.
White wine vinegar? 2.6g per litre.
A glass of alcohol-free wine, limited to 0.05% alcohol, on the other hand, will contain just under 0.1g of alcohol.
As you can see, alcohol is present in many of our everyday foods and will go unnoticed when consumed in moderation.
We could be wrong, but it’s fair to assume that you’ve never had a hangovers because you ate too many bananas or drank too much apple juice, right?
In comparison, a single glass of 13% wine or a pint of 4% beer can contain approx. 18.4g of alcohol.
The amount of alcohol in alcohol-free wines, and the foods and drinks you consume in your daily life is nowhere near enough to get you drunk.
And, thankfully, given the close to non-existent alcohol percentage, it doesn’t provide the alcoholic sensory cues that make you want to drink alcoholic drinks in the first place.