Formaldehyde in beer?

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Formaldehyde in beer?

Postby teslas_moustache » January 1st, 2013, 10:18 pm

I rang in the New Year with a six-pack of something a little adventurous - Tsingtao beer from China. It's not the best tasting beer in the world, but it's not the worst. It definitely tastes like beer. I felt like it was probably a bad idea, but I couldn't resist the novelty.

So I talked to a few online buddies about it and found out there's a rumor going around that there is formaldehyde in Chinese beer. Or formaldehyde in all beer. I can't tell. There doesn't seem to be anything difinitive. Some pages site an article from People's Daily Online saying that "Chinese brewery giant Tsingtao has confirmed the safety of its product, saying the per-liter formaldehyde content of its product is much lower than the standard set by the World Heath Organization."

Doesn't that make you feel safe? The people making the beverage I'm drinking say that it's safe. Must be true.

Getting to the point, then...

Part of the problem seems to be a lack of available data. So I was wondering if there is some cheap (cheaper than [this]( ... ehyde+test)) way of testing for formaldehyde.

TL;DR: Trying to figure out a cheap way of testing for the presence of/amount of formaldehyde in beer. Any ideas?
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Re: Formaldehyde in beer?

Postby UAirLtd » January 2nd, 2013, 1:05 pm

Tsingtao isn't really that interesting; it's a light and clean Chinese lager, like a lot of others. In the UK at least, you'll find it available at pretty much any good Chinese restaurant (along with Tiger from Thailand).

If you google for "forlmaldehyde test strips", you'll get various sources of these things that can test for concentrations in the ppm region, for example: and ... ategory=65 (dont' know how well these work, or how legitimate these websites are. just examples)
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Re: Formaldehyde in beer?

Postby flink » February 22nd, 2013, 12:52 pm

Many breweries put forlmaldehyde in beer intended for export. I can't tell you how many piss-water American beers I've had while overseas, and before the fast refrigerated stores (AFS) ships became ubiquitous. When beer was shipped warm, and the transit time from the brewery to your location could be 8-12 weeks, and possible 2-4 weeks before you drank it, forlmaldehyde was a necessary fact of life.

Although hops are a preservative, most commercial breweries don't use enough to effectively preserve beer their target market isn't up to drinking a good, strongly hopped beer.
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Re: Formaldehyde in beer?

Postby jongscx » March 14th, 2013, 9:59 am

There's a lot of -aldehydes and -ketones and other chemical-sounding things in alcohol production, but I've always found that sensational reporting always seems to forget to mention the concentrations.

Similarly, most pit fruits contain small doses of Hydrogen Cyanide... but few people have ever been poisoned by a plum.
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