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What Is Powdered Alcohol?

Powdered alcohol is alcohol that has undergone microencapsulation; turning it from a liquid into a solid (powder form). The process of microencapsulation involves coating drops of alcohol with a membrane to make them a powdered variant.

The taste of this form of alcohol is somewhat off putting and some argue it has much less value than regular liquid alcohol. Food manufacturers use it as a preservative to extend the shelf life of other products. Sometimes it is used as an additive in cocktails, combined with alcohol and water. If you are experiencing alcoholism and are looking for treatment, Brentwood Springs offers alcohol detox programs to get you started down the road of recovery.

How Did Palcohol Come About?

The following is a brief overview of the use of powdered alcohol in various forms. The first part describes the history and development of powdered alcohol, while the second part discusses its uses.

History & Development

Palcohol was created during the 1960s in Japan, by the Sato Foods Industry Company, LTD. The purpose behind creating powdered alcohol was to create a new type of alcohol that would be able to withstand long periods of time. This idea came after the company had been experimenting with different types of alcohol for over 50 years.

In 1966, the first batch of alcohol powder was produced and sold under the brand name “Alcock”. It was initially only available at Japanese restaurants and bars, but soon became popular among consumers.

In 1971, the first commercial production of powdered alcohol occurred when the company began producing their own line of alcoholic beverages. They were known as “Sato” and included brands such as “Fujimaki”, “Kamome”, and “Mizu-shu”.

Powdered alcohol was later introduced to the United States in 1977, where it was marketed under the brand name “SureShot”. In 2015, Palcohol was released and made available to the public.


Today, this dry form of alcohol can be found in numerous products including:

  • Foodstuffs – Alcohol powder is used to preserve and extend the shelf-life of certain types of food. For example, powdered alcohol is added to milk to help prevent mold growth. Powdered alcohol may also be added to bread dough to keep it soft and moist.
  • Beverages – Powdered alcohol can be used to enhance the flavor of some drinks. For instance, it may be added to wine to give it a sweeter taste.
  • Household Products – Powdered ethanol may be used in household cleaning products to remove grease stains from clothes and dishes. It is also sometimes used as an alternative to dish soap.
  • Cosmetics – Alcohol powder has become increasingly popular as a natural alternative to artificial perfumes and fragrances.
  • Pharmaceuticals – Powdered alcohol finds widespread use in pharmaceutical formulations. It is typically added to medications to increase their stability and prolong their shelf-life.
  • Personal Care Products – Powdered ethanol is frequently added to personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. It is also used in hair care products to improve the condition of hair.
  • Agriculture – Alcohol powder plays a key role in agriculture. It is used to protect plants against insects and fungi. It may also be applied directly to seeds before planting to promote germination.

How Powdered Alcohol is Used

The way alcohol powder works is similar to how regular alcohol works. In both cases, alcohol molecules bond together to create large clusters. These clusters are then broken apart when the alcohol interacts with other chemicals. This causes the individual alcohol molecules to separate from each other.

When alcohol encounters oxygen, it becomes oxidized. Oxidation involves breaking apart the bonds between molecules. The result is that the alcohol molecule loses its ability to bond with other substances.

When alcohol comes into contact with sugars, it undergoes a different type of oxidation. Sugar molecules bond with alcohol molecules to form larger clusters. When these clusters are broken apart, the alcohol molecules separate from the sugar molecules.

Alcohol powder is created by taking this same basic concept and applying it to an entirely new substance: sugar. By combining sugar molecules with alcohol molecules, scientists can create a powdery substance that behaves like alcohol but has none of the negative effects.

Powdered alcohol is produced through a complex manufacturing process. First, alcohol molecules are combined with sugar molecules. Then, the mixture is heated until all of the alcohol molecules are bonded to the sugar molecules. Finally, the mixture is cooled so that the sugar molecules remain intact while the alcohol molecules fall away.

Powdered Alcohol vs Liquid Alcohol 

While some believe that alcohol is more desirable, having more value, than powdered alcohol or what’s commonly referred to as Palcohol, alcohol powder does have some advantages. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of dry alcohol vs liquid alcohol.


  • While there are many benefits associated with powdered alcohol, one of the most important advantages is that it does not contain any water. Water is often necessary to make other types of alcohol more stable. However, if powdered alcohol is exposed to moisture, it will begin to break down into its constituent parts.
  • Another advantage of dry alcohol is that it contains no preservatives. Preservatives are usually needed to ensure that foods do not spoil. However, they can cause health problems for people who consume them regularly. Powdered alcohol does not contain any preservatives, which makes it safer than other forms of alcohol.


  • Although alcohol powder is generally considered safe, there are still risks involved. For example, it should never be consumed by pregnant women, infants, children, or anyone who suffers from diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • It should also be avoided by those who have difficulty digesting carbohydrates due to lactose intolerance.
  • Although powdered alcohol is generally safe, it may still pose a risk to pets. If your pet ingests powdered alcohol, it could experience diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures.

Is Powdered Alcohol Legal?

Yes! It’s legal to consume alcohol powder in most states. In fact, it’s often used as a mixer in cocktails. Powdered alcohol has been legal in the US since April 2017 by the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Is Alcohol Powder Dangerous?

Palcohol has not been shown to cause any serious health problems over what drinking liquid alcohol has. It does contain some calories, but it doesn’t raise blood levels or triglycerides or cholesterol like regular alcohol does.

Snorting Powdered Alcohol

Alcohol powder was not intended to be snorted through the nose. However, this hasn’t stopped people from snorting it through the nose. It’s not clear if this method delivers any substantial benefit over drinking alcohol in liquid form. But it does mean that people who don’t like the taste of alcohol can enjoy similar effects without having to swallow it.

Is Palcohol Addictive?

Palcohol is a dry form of alcohol and is just as addictive. It is roughly 10% alcohol by weight. And when alcohol is in a powdered form it is more difficult to discern exactly how much one is absorbing. For this reason, and others, 35 states in the US have banned sales of powdered alcohol (Palcohol) though federally it is legal.

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The first step in drug and alcohol detox is admitting you have a problem. If you don’t admit it, then you won’t be able to seek treatment. Once you’ve admitted you have a problem, you should see a medical professional who specializes in addiction medicine. This will ensure that you receive the best care available. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction reach out and speak with an admissions specialist today at Brentwood Springs Detox in Nashville, Tennessee.

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