Alcohol is in these foods – Goose liquor

Cinnamon rolls, milk rolls and marzipan potatoes – these foods are very popular with both adults and children. But like other foods, they can contain alcohol.

If you want to or have to do without alcohol, you should not only be careful when choosing your drink. Alcohol can also be hidden in some foods such as bread, juice and soup – and this is not always shown on the packaging. Why is it included in some dishes? And how can you tell that he's in it?

These foods naturally contain alcohol

Some foods naturally contain alcohol. These include:

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  • Loaf,
  • Vinegar,
  • Kefir,
  • naturally cloudy fruit juices and
  • ripe fruit.

Both in fruits and fruit juices (up to 0.38 percent by volume per liter) and in bread there is a natural fermentation process that creates alcohol. Kefir contains a mushroom that uses the milk sugar to produce alcohol – sometimes up to two percent by volume. Vinegar bacteria use oxygen to turn alcohol into vinegar. The end product, such as apple, brandy or wine vinegar, therefore contains very small amounts of alcohol – between 0.2 and 1.5 percent by volume.

The natural alcohol content in food is often less than 0.3 volume percent – with very ripe bananas, however, it can rise to up to 0.6 volume percent, with grape juice up to one volume percent and with kefir, depending on storage, even up to two volume percent. Due to the relatively small amount, it is imperceptible in terms of taste and is also considered harmless as long as the food is consumed in moderate amounts. Accordingly, there is no labeling for the alcohol content.

Unexpectedly there's alcohol in here

According to the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection and research, the following foods sometimes contain alcohol unexpectedly:



Possible ingredient

Bakery products

Cakes, biscuits

  • Spice cake
  • Herrentorte
  • donuts
  • milk roll
  • spirits
  • liqueur
  • Fruit brandy
  • Red or white wine

finished products

Fish dishes

  • fish stew
  • fish fillet
  • Mussels / mussel soup
  • Trout blue

Meat dishes

  • Hühnerfrikassee
  • Meatballs
  • Game dishes


Cheese dishes

Cheese fondue

Soups, sauces

  • gravy
  • Chili sauce
  • Fishsoup
  • Cold dish
  • Worcester sauce
  • Onionsoup
  • Brandy (including Calvados, Cachaca, Cognac, Rum, Sambuca, Whiskey)
  • Liqueur wine (including sherry)
  • Red or white wine


Soft drinks

  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Non-alcoholic wine

Malt beverages


Jam, fruit compote

  • Sour cherry jam
  • Apricot jam
  • Plum jam
  • Brandy (rum)
  • Liqueur (Amaretto)
  • Fruit water (cherry water)

Ice cream

  • Liqueur rice varieties
  • Rum varieties
  • chocolate ice cream
  • Tiramisueis
  • Brandy (including Calvados, Cachaca, Cognac, Rum, Sambuca, Whiskey)
  • Liqueur (including amaretto, bitter liqueur, egg liqueur, fruit liqueur, cocoa liqueur)
  • Fruit brandy (for example cherry water)
  • Red or white wine


  • Baumkuchen confection
  • Milk cream wafers
  • Mozartkugeln
  • chocolates
  • Rum (grapes) chocolate
  • chocolate bar
  • Chocolate or waffle Easter eggs
  • truffle
  • Wine gum
  • spirits
  • liqueur
  • Fruit brandy


  • Brandy (rum),
  • Liqueur (Amaretto, Eggnog)
  • Red or white wine

Certain E numbers also indicate alcohol. These include, for example, E334 (tartaric acid) and E1519 (benzyl alcohol or phenylmethanol). However, they are contained in the products in such small amounts that you can safely consume the food.

Although the name does not suggest it: there is still some residual alcohol in non-alcoholic drinks. In non-alcoholic beer this can be up to 0.5%. Nevertheless, they can be described as "non-alcoholic". The same applies to malt drink (up to 0.5 percent by volume) and malt beer (up to two percent by volume). According to the Food Labeling Ordinance (LMKV §7b and Appendix 4), the alcohol content must only be labeled accordingly from 1.2 volume percent.

Why is there alcohol in these foods?

Many manufacturers state that alcohol is used as a preservative. However, nutrition experts doubt this. Alcohol is used, among other things, to preserve or dissolve flavors and fruit extracts, but in such small quantities that they do not have to be marked on the list of ingredients. Alcohol is often added because of its taste.

Alcohol evaporates when heated. The alcohol content of finished products and baked goods is reduced if they are prepared correctly.

Why can alcohol in food be problematic?

Refraining from alcohol can have health as well as religious reasons.

Pregnant women or people suffering from pancreas or liver should avoid this intoxicant. Children and adolescents should not consume it either.

With dry alcoholics, even small amounts of alcohol can lead to relapses.

Because of their food and drink laws, Muslims do not use alcohol. Products that contain, for example, brandy vinegar or tartaric acid in small quantities can still be considered halal ("allowed").

If the foods that contain alcohol unexpectedly are consumed in moderation, they pose no risks for a healthy person.

Gaps in labeling requirements

According to the law, manufacturers must state that alcohol is contained in the product. However, there are exceptions: If the alcohol content is too low or the packaging is too small for a long list of ingredients, there is no labeling requirement. In addition, the intoxicant does not have to appear on the list of ingredients if it is used as a carrier – for example for flavors. But even if the ingredient is stated on the product packaging, it is often not clear how much is contained.