Alcohol consumption in pregnancy may result in serious adverse fetal outcome. Non- or low alcoholic wines and beers may be a risk-reduction strategy to help alcohol-dependent individuals to prevent or limit ethanol consumption. The objective of this study was to quantify ethanol concentrations in Canadian beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content.
Forty-five different beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content in the Canadian market were tested for ethanol concentration using gas chromatography.
Thirteen (29%) of the beverages contained ethanol levels higher than the declared concentration on their label. Six beverages claiming to contain no alcohol were found to contain greater than 1% ethanol.
Pregnant women seeking replacement to alcoholic beverages may be misled by these labels, unknowingly exposing themselves and their unborn babies to ethanol.