Alcohol-free beverages in Zurich found to contain too much alcohol

Alcohol-free beverages in Zurich found to contain too much alcohol

A lab in Canton Zurich has found that 20 percent of alcohol-free drinks have alcohol content above the 0,5 percent limit - which is required for the product to be branded as alcohol-free. In some samples, an alcohol content as high as 1,5 percent was discovered.

Some 0,0 drinks in Zurich are not 0,0 at all 

The authorities in Zurich tested 25 types of beer, wine and spirits that claim to be alcohol-free. In the study, they found that of the 10 brands that displayed the 0,0 label - claiming to contain absolutely no trace of alcohol - several samples were flagged as having too much booze, including a non-alcoholic aperitif that was recorded as being 0,6 percent alcohol. 

Of the drinks that were branded as “alcohol-free” (rather than 0,0), three samples contained too much alcohol. A volume of 1,5 percent was detected in two Kombucha drinks that were branded as alcohol-free.

Zurich authorities criticise alcohol manufacturers

The authorities in Zurich who tested the samples criticised the manufacturers for their mistakes. In particular, the authorities said that producers had not paid enough attention to the fermentation and culture processes required for non-alcoholic drinks and Kombucha. 

Laws regulating alcohol content in Switzerland clearly state that nonalcoholic drinks must contain less than 0,5 percent alcohol to be branded as such. The consequences of mislabelled alcoholic beverages can be serious for those who need to avoid them - namely pregnant women, those recovering from substance abuse and those who avoid alcohol for religious reasons.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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