fusel oil

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

fusel oil A mixture of organic acids, higher alcohols (propyl, butyl, and amyl), aldehydes, and esters, known collectively as congeners, produced in alcoholic fermentation.

It is present in low concentration in wines and beer, and in high concentration in pot‐still spirit. On maturation of the liquor fusel oil changes and imparts the special flavour to the spirit. Many of the symptoms of hangover can be attributed to fusel oil in alcoholic beverages.

views updated

fusel oil (fyōō´zəl), oily, colorless liquid with a disagreeable odor and taste. It is a mixture of alcohols (largely amyl alcohols) and fatty acids, formed during the alcoholic fermentation of organic materials. After imperfect distillation of these fermentation products it becomes an impurity in the distilled liquor. Fusel oil is used as a solvent in the manufacture of certain lacquers and enamels (it dissolves nitrocellulose). It has a detrimental effect on the human system.

views updated

fusel oil Poisonous, clear, colourless liquid with a disagreeable smell. It consists of a mixture of amyl alcohols, obtained as a by-product of the fermentation of plant materials containing sugar and starch. It is used as a solvent for waxes, resins, fats and oils, and in the manufacture of explosives.