Risk assessment for the Italian population of acetaldehyde in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Viviana Paiano, Giancarlo Bianchi, Enrico Davoli, Eva Negri, Roberto Fanelli, Elena Fattore

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25 Scopus citations


Acetaldehyde is a naturally-occurring carcinogenic compound, present in different food items, especially in alcoholic beverages. The aims of this study were to measure acetaldehyde concentration in different beverages consumed in Italy and to estimate the potential cancer risk. The analytical procedure was based on headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), using the isotopic dilution method. The margin of exposure (MOE) approach of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was used for risk characterisation. The highest concentrations (median, min-max) were detected in grappa samples (499, 23.4-1850 mg/l), followed by fruit-based liqueurs and spirits (62.0, 5.23-483 mg/l) and wine (68.0, 18.1-477 mg/l); the lowest were detected in gin (0.91, 0.78-1.90 mg/l). The lowest MOE was estimated for high wine consumers (69). These results suggest that regulatory measures and consumer guidance may be necessary for acetaldehyde in beverages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014



  • Acetaldehyde
  • Alcohol
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Human exposure
  • Risk

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