Consumption pattern, heavy metal content and risk assessment of Akpeteshie-local gin in Ho municipality of Ghana

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Scientific African
Akpeteshie is a locally distilled alcoholic beverage produced by fermentation of palm wine and other substrates. This study investigated akpeteshie consumption patterns in Ho municipality and assessed the content of ethanol and contaminants (methanol, lead, copper and iron) in the akpeteshie samples. Alcohol consumption pattern of 140 participants was determined using the Daily Drinking Questionnaire in a cross-sectional study in Ho municipality, Ghana. The levels of ethanol and methanol in ten (10) samples of akpeteshie obtained from distillers across the municipality was determined using AOAC methods. Heavy metals were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The health risk associated with akpeteshie consumption was also assessed. About 67.86% of the respondents preferred Akpeteshie as their alcoholic beverage. Majority of respondents who consumed akpeteshie were males (93.6%), however the female participants (66.67%) exceeded the recommended number of drinks. Although methanol and lead were not detected, copper (1.39–4.12 mg/l) and iron (1.98 mg/l) were present and exceeded allowed standards. The study observed high akpeteshie consumption levels among males, but increased alcohol abuse among females beyond the recommended limits of 1–2 drinks/day. Although iron (1.98 mg/l) and copper (4.12 mg/l) levels in the akpeteshie samples were high, risk assessment of the consumed toxic metals through akpeteshie posed no adverse health effects on the populace of the various locations. However excessive consumption of akpeteshie could lead to incremental life cancer risk due to the minute accumulation of these toxic metals hence the need to intensify regulatory and health promotion efforts.
This is an article published in Scientific African 19 (2023) e01564
Scientific African 19 (2023) e01564