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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

versión On-line ISSN 1812-9528


AGUAYO, T  y  VILLAGRA, V. Methanol concentration in Paraguayan caña in samples remitted to the National Institute of Technology, Standardization and Metrology, during the 2007-2010 period from three departments and the capital. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.1, pp.62-69. ISSN 1812-9528.

The Paraguayan caña is the traditional alcoholic beverage of Paraguay and has an alcohol content of 35% (minimum) to 45% (maximum) by volume at 20 º C (35º to 45º Gay Lussac grades). It is prepared exclusively by the fermentation of sugar molasses (Saccharum officinarum) and obtained from the distillate with subsequent dilution. According to the Paraguayan Standard of caña NP 3001 84 (June/2010 Third Edition), the Paraguayan caña must have certain characteristics for human consumption. The spirit contains several volatile compounds with toxic and/or organoleptic actions with minimum and maximum parameters of acceptability. Among them, methanol has an allowed maximum concentration of 10 mg%, expressed in anhydrous alcohol (equivalent to 10 mg/dL). In order to contribute to the quality control of the Paraguayan caña, this study quantified methanol in samples of the beverage. The districts with the highest concentration of methanol in the caña in three departments of our country (Central, Cordillera and Paraguarí) and in the capital were identified. Methanol content was quantified by gas chromatography in the Laboratories of the Research and Technological Assistance Organism (OIAT in Spanish) of the National Institute of Technology, Standardization and Metrology (INTN in Spanish). The mean methanol content was 3.78 mg%(mg/dL) (SD:5.80 n: 48) and 6 out of 48 samples showed values over the maximum allowed value in districts from Cordillera and the capital. Other compounds of the Paraguayan caña must be quantified to evaluate the toxicity and ensure their safety and quality.

Palabras clave : methanol; paraguayan caña; gas chromatography.

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