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July 14, 2015

Powdered Alcohol Products: New Challenge in an Era of Needed Regulation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Alcohol Policy Consultations, Felton, California

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;314(2):119-120. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6450

In March 2015, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved several powdered alcohol products, sold under the brand name Palcohol, for sale in the United States. Powdered or crystalline alcohol is alcohol that has been absorbed into a carbohydrate (eg, dextrin), resulting in a dry state rather than its usual liquid form. Although alcohol has been converted into crystalline form for more than 200 years,1 Palcohol constitutes the first entry into a new US alcohol market. These powdered alcohol products are 50% alcohol by weight and, if mixed according to package instructions, would yield a liquid that is 10% alcohol by volume.