Tsipouro and Tsikoudia are two denominations with geographic indications of the traditional Greek marc distillate, which is produced in continental Greece and in the island of Crete respectively. It is produced by the Greek winegrowers as well as by the professional distillers. To provide data on the safety of domestic Tsipouro and Tsikoudia distillates for human consumption and to draw conclusions from any essential results, which might have an impact on the quality of this product, 23 samples were analysed for: (a) Volatile compounds by the use of gas chromatography, (b) Inorganic elements, using atomic absorption spectrometry and (c) the pH values through-out using standard methods. Data revealed differences between these two denominations, which have been confirmed by the application of a statistic analysis and a PCA. Thus, Tsikoudia was found to contain statistically higher amounts of acetalde-hyde. However, the levels that have been observed did not exceed the official limits. Most of the Tsipouro and Tsikoudia samples also contained low concentrations of estragol, an anise compound, lead and copper, which do not represent a risk to consumer health due to their toxicity. On the other hand, the total concentration of higher alcohols was higher than the official minimum limit (140 g.hl-1 Absolute Alcohol-AA), while the amylic alcohols rarely exceeded 300 g.hl-1 AA. The high concentrations of ethyl acetate (>300 g.hl-1 AA) and ethyl lactate in a few samples showed the necessity of limiting unwanted fermentations in the grape pomace. The analytical study showed that the quality of the marc distillate is, generally, satisfactory. However, it revealed great differences between Tsipouro and Tsikoudia even among the samples of each denomination and, con-sequently, these domestic distillates need standardization and a more systematic production.
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