Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
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Malt, Hops, Water, Yeast…and Antifreeze

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

Diethylene glycol in beer leads to severe poisoning cases.

Beer, food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database.
Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Diethylene glycol (DEG) is a substance that is highly toxic to humans. It is used in a wide range of applications, such as brake fluid and as a raw material for resins, and it is often present in antifreeze. In Brazil, more than a dozen people were poisoned by beer containing DEG. The suspected products were recalled and the case is under investigation. It is not clear yet whether the DEG was intentionally added to commit fraud, or whether the contamination was unintentional. We are observing this case very closely, since diethylene glycol has been used for fraudulent purposes in beverages in the past.


News Desk (January 15, 2020). “Backer told to recall beer linked to poisoning in Brazil”.


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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

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