Deutsch: Alkohol / Español: Alcohol / Português: Alcool / Français: Alcool / Italiano: Alcoli
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms.
An important class of alcohols are the simple acyclic alcohols, the general formula for which is CnH2n+1OH. Of these ethanol (C2H5OH) is the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages; in common speech the word alcohol refers to ethanol.
In the food context, alcohol refers to a class of organic compounds that are produced by the fermentation of sugars and other carbohydrates. Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits contain varying amounts of alcohol, and are often consumed for their taste and intoxicating effects.
Some examples of alcoholic beverages include:
- Beer: A fermented beverage made from grains such as barley and wheat, often flavored with hops.
- Wine: A fermented beverage made from grapes or other fruits, often aged in oak barrels for flavor.
- Spirits: Alcoholic beverages that are distilled from fermented grains or fruits, such as whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum.
- Cider: A fermented beverage made from apples or other fruits.
- Mead: A fermented beverage made from honey, often flavored with spices or fruits.
Similar ingredients to alcohol include:
- Non-alcoholic beverages: Beverages that do not contain alcohol, such as water, soda, and juice.
- Fermented foods: Foods that are produced by the fermentation of sugars or carbohydrates, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.
- Vinegar: A sour liquid made from the fermentation of alcohol, often used as a condiment or ingredient in cooking.
- Yeast: A type of fungus that is used to ferment sugars in order to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast is a key ingredient in the production of many alcoholic beverages.