One of the major weapons in the fight to curb the spread of the coronavirus is the use of hand sanitizers. However, the demand for the hand cleanser has outpaced supply, and some New Orleans distilleries are filling the void by using their alcohol stock to produce the sanitizer.
University of New Orleans chemistry professors Phoebe Zito and David Podgorski are helping to ensure that the distillery-made sanitizers meet with FDA and World Health Organization specifications.
The Chemical Analysis and Mass Spectrometry Facility at UNO, under the co-direction of Zito and Podgorski, has partnered with two distilleries that have switched operations from making alcohol to making hand sanitizer for clinics and hospitals in the region.
“David and I are working with PorchJam and Cajun Spirits distillery to test their hand sanitizer for ethanol content to meet the guidelines regulated by the World Health Organization,” Zito said.
When soap and water are not available, the Center for Disease Control recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.
“The CAMS facility provides certificates of analysis for the active ingredients in their hand sanitizers so the distilleries can prove that their products meet specifications,” Zito said. “It’s such a great opportunity, and we are very glad we are able to contribute and help our community through these crazy times.”