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Suppose we have some fermented (optionally also distilled) fruit/fruit juice. The sample therefore contains water, sugars, ethanol etc. Which analysis method is the simplest to find out whether the toxic methanol is also present?

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Methanol, formed by degradation of pectines from the skin of fruits, as well as higher alcohols is volatile and does not show significant absorption in the UV.

Consequently, gas chromatography is the method of choice to determine these components in the fermentation mix.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is this something that can be done on the run? Or at home a least? $\endgroup$ – Tomáš Zato - Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '14 at 23:31
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    $\begingroup$ @TomášZato No, gas chromatography usually isn't something to be run at home. The prices for the equipment and the operation costs are too high. $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Sep 22 '14 at 2:57
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Maybe try NMR?

But if the amount of the methanol is too small, you won't see so beautiful signal:

enter image description here

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