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Drawback Tutorial

Food Products Containing Ethanol

27 CFR Section 17.133  Food product formulas.

Formulas for nonbeverage food products on TTB Form 5154.1 may be approved if they are unfit for beverage purposes. Approval does not authorize manufacture or sale contrary to state law. Examples of food products that have been found to be unfit for beverage purposes are stated below:

  1. Sauces or syrups. Sauces, or syrups consisting of sugar solutions and distilled spirits, in which the ethanol content is not more than 12 percent by volume and the sugar content is not less than 60 grams per 100 cubic centimeters (also called milliliters).
  2. Brandied fruits. Brandied fruits consisting of solidly packaged fruits, either whole or segmented, and distilled spirits products not exceeding the quantity and ethanol content necessary for flavoring and preserving. Generally, brandied fruits will be considered to have met these standards if the container is well filled and solidly packed.  The ethanol in the liquid portion cannot exceed 23 percent by volume, and the liquid portion cannot exceed 45 percent of the volume of the container.
  3. Candies. Candies with alcoholic fillings, if the fillings meet the standards prescribed for sauces and syrups by paragraph (a) of this section.  The purpose of the ethanol in these products is to flavor the candy.
  4. Other food products. Food products such as mincemeat, plum pudding, and fruit cake, where only sufficient distilled spirits are used for flavoring and preserving; and ice cream and ices where only sufficient spirits are used for flavoring purposes. Also food adjuncts, such as preservatives, emulsifying agents, and food colorings, that are unfit for beverage purposes and are manufactured and used, or sold for use, in food.

See Distilled Spirits FAQ S15  for guidance related to frozen dessert products (ice cream or ice pops).

Note: Neutral grain spirits generally do not qualify, as they do not contribute to the taste of the product.

Page last reviewed/updated: 03/29/2019