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Quantifying the Rate Copper Leaches From a Copper Drinking Vessel Into Simulated Beverages Under Conditions of Consumer Use

January/February 2022 issue of the Journal of Environmental HealthAbstract

The Moscow Mule cocktail, which contains ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka, is commonly served in a copper mug. There has been increasing concern that copper can leach into the cocktail, given the acidic nature of the drink. Under the experimental conditions studied, copper does leach from the copper mug into the beverage. We observed copper leaching into the cocktail solution at a rate of 0.048 ± 7 x 10-4 ppm copper/min at room temperature. The leaching rate was found to be dependent on the acidity of the solution (increasing at lower pH) and molecular oxygen content. We quantified the copper concentration using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The rate of copper leaching into the Moscow Mule cocktail was found to be significant and accumulated copper concentration exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for drinking water within 27 minutes (World Health Organization, 2004).  Any risk posed by the accumulation of copper, however, can be mitigated by serving the Moscow Mule cocktail in a copper mug lined with stainless steel to avoid direct contact of the acidic liquid with the copper surface directly, as stipulated by the Food and Drug Administration model Food Code.

 

Speaker / Author: 
Caroline R. Pharr, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
John G. Rowley, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Monika Weber, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Dain Adams, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Isabelle Gray, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Erin Hanson, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Gunnar Hilborn, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Victoria Kong, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Emma Patello, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Stephen Schmidt and Dmitry Shulga, Department of Chemistry, Carroll College
Month Year: 
January 2022
Volume#: 
84.6
Page #: 
8-13
Publication Month: 
January/February 2022
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