Glycol (ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, propylene glycol)

Under the group of glycols, we differentiate several compounds, which are analyse for various reasons.

Ethylene glycol

Ethylene glycol is a colourless, viscous, slightly sweet, toxic fluid with a strong hygroscopic character.

Naturally, into wine ethylene glycol can be formed in concentrations lower than 10 mg/l from the amino acid L-serine. Higher concentrations indicate contamination or falsification of wine with cooling agent, so that OIV has set a reference value of 10 mg/l.

Diethylene glycol

Diethylene glycol is a derivate of ethylene glycol and is also used as antifreeze.

For wine, the compound become important into the year 1985, when some Austrian winemakers are added this sweet compound to their wine to get full-bodied “Spätlese”. Therefor OIV has set a reference value of <10 mg/l.

Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is colourless, clear, almost odourless and strong hygroscopic fluid. This compound serves as carrier material for aroma.

OIV sets a reference value of maximum 150 mg/l for wine and 300 mg/l for sparkling wine.

There exists a legal limit of concentrations up to 1 g/l for other drinks.

  • Method
  • Limit of detection
  • Natural occurrence (wine)
  • Reason for Analysis
  • HPLC
  • 10 mg/l
  • Ethylenglykol <10 mg/l
  • Control of contaminations with cooling Agent or control of aromatisation