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Bioresour Technol. 2010 Feb;101(4):1396-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.09.069. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Influence of apple cultivar and juice pasteurization on hard cider and eau-de-vie methanol content.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University, 630 W. North Street, Geneva, NY 14456, USA.


Apple eau-de-vie is a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in France by distillation of fermented apple juice (hard cider). The current research was undertaken to determine the methanol content of hard cider and apple eau-de-vie made from four apple cultivars grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The methanol concentration of hard cider varied from 0.037% to approximately 0.091%, and the methanol content of apple eau-de-vie ranged from below 200 mg to more than 400 mg/100mL of 40% ethanol. The United States legal limit of methanol for fruit brandy is 0.35% by volume or 280 mg/100mL of 40% ethanol. Of the four apple cultivars examined, Crispin apples yielded significantly more methanol in hard cider and eau-de-vie than Empire, Jonagold or Pacific Rose apples. Pasteurization of Crispin apple juice prior to alcoholic fermentation significantly reduced the methanol content of hard cider and eau-de-vie.

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