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J Biosci Bioeng. 2006 Oct;102(4):269-80.

Hydrogen bonding of water-ethanol in alcoholic beverages.

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Suigei Brewing Co., Ltd., 566 Nagahama, Kochi 781-0270, Japan.


An alcoholic beverage is a type of water-ethanol solution with flavor and taste. The properties of the hydrogen bonding of water-ethanol in alcoholic beverages have not been clarified sufficiently. We investigated factors that could affect the hydrogen-bonding structure of water-ethanol on the basis of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) chemical shifts of the OH of water-ethanol and Raman OH stretching spectra. Not only acids (H+ and HA: undissociated acids) but also bases (OH- and A-: conjugate-base anions from weak acids) strengthened the hydrogen-bonding structure of water-ethanol. It was also demonstrated that the hydrogen bonding is strengthened by chemical components in alcoholic beverages (whiskey, Japanese sake, shochu). It can be suggested that hydrogen-bonding donors as well as acceptors in alcohol beverages, which exist as the initial components or are gained later on, should cause the tight association between water and ethanol molecules.

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