There has been a lot of controversy about Palcohol (powdered alcohol), which was invented by Mark Phillips, the president of the Lipsmark Company.
He claims the use of Palcohol is convenient for instances such as shipping, hiking, and getting alcohol into venues that overcharge for a drink. In April 2014, the U.S. Alcohol and Tabacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved labels for the product. Since then, over 27 states have banned it on the premise that it is dangerous. Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington statutorily prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. Maryland and Minnesota have temporary one-year statutory bans. Colorado, Delaware and New Mexico have included powdered alcohol in their statutory definitions of alcohol so that the product can be regulated under their existing alcohol statutes.
They believe people will use the powder to spike drinks, snort it to get drunk quicker, and that it will entice underage drinking.
Finding all of this interesting, I did some research on this powdered stuff. Here is what I found:
The recipe has not been shared by the company, but Paul Adams, a senior editor at Popular Science has made and tested a powdered recipe of his own that he believes is similar to Phillips’ Palcohol. Since alcohol cannot be transformed into a powdered form, measured amounts of high-proof alcohol are added to a powder that they can bond to. Adams used a substance called tapioca maltodextrin, added grain alcohol and tried it out.
About 30 grams of powder mixed into roughly 200 milliliters of liquid such as juice, soda, or water, will give you a mixed drink. If you drink enough of this stuff, the powdered alcohol will get you drunk.
As for the powder being used to spike a drink, it just does not work too well. So much of the powder has to be added to liquid to make a drink, and it takes a little while to stir it until it dissolves, that it is just not feasible. It is much easier to spike a drink with liquid alcohol.
For those that are concerned about people snorting the stuff, those that have tried making it on their own and snorting it have reported that even snorting a little bit is very painful. It immediately closes up the nostril so that one cannot breathe out of it, and it causes nosebleeds. One would have to snort more than 30 good size lines to get the equivalent of one drink. So, the fear of Palcohol being used to be snorted is pretty much out of the question.
All in all, if someone wants to get drunk it is much easier to drink the liquid form of alcohol than to use the powdered form. As for purchasing powdered alcohol to use while traveling, that may work for those that want to drink on vacation without paying a huge price for drinks. If rules and laws about bringing alcohol into venues and in suitcases for air travel have already been put in place, wouldn’t those same rules hold true for the powdered form? I just don’t see the point of it, unless you are an astronaut in space. I don’t think NASA wants to spend money to have drunk astronauts.
Morton, H. (2015, November 10). Powdered Alcohol 2015 Legislation. Retrieved August, 2016.