Can you cook with wine when pregnant?
In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question ”Can you cook with wine when pregnant?” and discuss the risks related to cooking dishes with alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
Can you cook with wine when pregnant?
Yes, you can cook with wine when pregnant. However, it is nor recommended to cook with wine or any alcoholic beverage when pregnant. The consumption of wine or alcoholic beverages during pregnancy is not advised, as it can have negative consequences to the unborn child (4).
The alcohol is not totally eliminated from the food during the cooking process and the remaining alcohol should not be consumed by pregnants (1).
What are the risks of cooking with wine when pregnant?
The risk of cooking with wine when pregnant is that not all the alcohol from the added wine is eliminated from the dish during cooking. As a consequence, the dish will contain alcohol, which can harm the unborn child.
According to different studies, the precise quantity of alcohol that may pose a risk to the developing fetus during the gestational period remains unknown.
Therefore, experts and healthcare professionals strongly advise pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy to totally abstain from consuming alcohol. The effects and safety implications of consuming low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy are still uncertain and conflicting.
On the other hand, multiple adverse birth outcomes have been reported to be a consequence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, including low birth weight, preterm birth, intrauterine growth retardation, having low weight for head circumferences, and small for gestational age (4).
Does alcohol from wine evaporate during cooking?
Yes, the alcohol from wine evaporates during cooking dishes with wine. However, according to studies, not all the alcohol evaporates and part of the alcohol is retained even after a long time of cooking with alcoholic beverages (1).
How much wine alcohol is present in food after cooking?
The amount of wine alcohol present in food after cooking varies depending on the cooking method and the amount added. For example, if the wine is added to the cold ingredients, the remaining alcohol after cooking will be greater than when if the wine is added to the boiling food (1).
The longer the food is cooked, the lower is the remaining alcohol. On the other hand, higher amounts of alcohol added to the food will need a longer time to evaporate and the remaining alcohol is greater for the same cooking time.
A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that different cooking methods reduce the alcohol content of food to different degrees, depending on the food matrix and the time of preparation. After cooking, the amount of alcohol remaining ranged from 4 percent to 95 percent (2).
The retained alcohol content of foods prepared by different cooking methods are as follows, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (3):
Added to boiling liquid and removed from heat …………. 85%
Cooked over a flame ………………………………………………. 75%
Added without heat and stored overnight………………….. 70%
Baked for 25 minutes without stirring………………………… 45%
Mixed, then baked or simmered for 15 min……………….. 40%
Mixed, then baked or simmered for 30 min……………….. 35%
Mixed, then baked or simmered for 1 h …………………….. 25%
Mixed, then baked or simmered for 2 h …………………….. 10%
Mixed, then baked or simmered for 2.5 h……………………. 5%
How to cook with wine during pregnancy?
To cook with wine during pregnancy, choose wines with reduced alcoholic content and cook for longer periods, such as over 2.5 hours, in order to reduce the alcohol concentrations to the minimum.
Some important tips are given below (1,3):
- Use dealcoholised wine presenting low ethanol content as a wine substitute to cook foods
- Add the wine to boiling ingredients
- Cook for prolonged periods (over 2.5 hours)
- Use low amounts of wine to cook
- Do not cover the pan during cooking to allow the alcohol to evaporate
How much alcohol is present in foods prepared with alcoholic beverages?
The amount of alcohol that may still be present in foods prepared with alcoholic beverages depends on the cooking method and the amount added, as well as the time of cooking, as mentioned earlier in the article.
The amount of alcohol that remains in some foods are given below (1,2):
|Approximate remaining amount of alcohol
|Beer cheese sauce, bourbon caramel and other sauces
|Diane, cherries jubilee and other recipes that flame the alcohol
|Meats and baked goods
|Commercial chocolate cake containing alcoholic beverage
In this way, it is recommended to avoid any food prepared with alcoholic beverages, especially the take-away foods and the restaurant foods, as the cooking method is unknown.
In this brief guide, we answered the question ” Can you cook with wine when pregnant?” and discussed the risks related to cooking dishes with alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
- Mateus, Daniela, Isabel MPLVO Ferreira, and Olívia Pinho. Headspace SPME–GC/MS evaluation of ethanol retention in cooked meals containing alcoholic drinks. Food Chem, 2011,126, 1387-1392.
- Grordon, B. No Worries, the Alcohol Burns Off During Cooking—But, Does It Really? 2019. Idaho State University.
- Regenstein, Joe M., Muhammad M. Chaudry, and Carrie E. Regenstein. The kosher and halal food laws. Comprehen rev food sci food safe, 2003, 2, 111-127.
- Addila, Alemu Earsido, et al. The effects of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy on adverse fetal outcomes among pregnant women attending antenatal care at public health facilities in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia: a prospective cohort study. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Pol, 2021,16, 1-15.