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A Comprehensive Review of Spirit Drink Safety Standards and Regulations from an International Perspective

Pang, Xiao-Na, Li, Zhao-Jie, Chen, Jing-Yu, Gao, Li-Juan, Han, Bei-Zhong
Journal of food protection 2017 v.80 no.3 pp. 431-442
Codex Alimentarius, European Union, aldehydes, control methods, distilled spirits, ethyl carbamate, heavy metals, hydrogen cyanide, international organizations, methanol, mycotoxins, phthalates, risk assessment process, safety standards, trade, Australia, Canada, China, United States
Standards and regulations related to spirit drinks have been established by different countries and international organizations to ensure the safety and quality of spirits. Here, we introduce the principles of food safety and quality standards for alcoholic beverages and then compare the key indicators used in the distinct standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the European Union, the People's Republic of China, the United States, Canada, and Australia. We also discuss in detail the “maximum level” of the following main contaminants of spirit drinks: methanol, higher alcohols, ethyl carbamate, hydrocyanic acid, heavy metals, mycotoxins, phthalates, and aldehydes. Furthermore, the control measures used for potential hazards are introduced. Harmonization of the current requirements based on comprehensive scope analysis and the risk assessment approach will enhance both the trade and quality of distilled spirits. This review article provides valuable information that will enable producers, traders, governments, and researchers to increase their knowledge of spirit drink safety requirements, control measures, and research trends.