I came up positive on test for alcohol after eating sautéed onions.

SCRAM bracelet recorded alcohol in my system from 5 pm to 7 am. I did not drink alcohol, or use alcohol to make the onions. I read on another site about how cooking process of making sauteed or grilled onions can produce glycerol from the onion sugar and the heat from cooking. Glycerol is actually two alcohols.

Could the onions have caused this?

  • 4
    What sort of test?
    – moscafj
    Sep 16 '16 at 22:47
  • Do you have diabetes? You might want to get checked.
    – Niall
    Sep 17 '16 at 13:57
  • If you could make alcohol from onions like from e.g., barley, there would be such a drink, like beer.
    – Robert
    Sep 19 '16 at 2:45
  • If that was the case, that would really annoy a lot of people who do not drink for health or religious reasons!!
    – Max
    Sep 19 '16 at 14:45
  • Glycerol is not an intoxicating alcohol though. Sep 22 '16 at 10:11

Some conditions can cause alcohol to be produced in the human body (look up auto-brewery syndrome). Sauteed onions are common enough that if they made people come up positive on alcohol tests, I bet we would all know it.


I don't think you could make an onion ferment. Saute if anything would boil off alcohol. Were the onions possible sautéed in alcohol? I use red wine to saute red onions.

Also environment can also cause a false positive. Search on scram false positive.

  • For the record in the original post OP did not state no alcohol was used in preparation. Base on actual question we don't if it was the OP that made the onions. OP as not even logged on since the question was posted so no way that came from a deleted comment. Nothing about a Scram bracelet or glycerol in the post from the OP.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 21 '16 at 19:17
  • There is indeed a deleted answer from the OP, though they were unregistered so they ended up posting it from a separate account. Sorry I didn't make that clear when I edited; I thought it was clear enough that it was something the OP had said, thanks to all the first person ("alcohol in my system" etc) and details nobody would just make up. Here's a screenshot, since you don't have the rep to see it: i.stack.imgur.com/FI4cb.png
    – Cascabel
    Sep 21 '16 at 19:23
  • @Jefromi I am supposed to know it came the user based on the use of first person? We do not share the same sense of logic. From my seat it looked like fabrication. You should have put that in the edit notes. You still should put that in the edit notes.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 21 '16 at 19:37
  • And fortunately I already have put it in the edit notes, 20 minutes ago. Like I said, I'm sorry I didn't make it clear from the beginning. It honestly did not occur to me that someone would think I had entirely fabricated details to edit into the question - that is, you could have assumed good faith on my part, and figured that it was more likely that I had basis for my edit than that I entirely fabricated details and made it look like they came from the OP with no explanation.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 21 '16 at 19:43

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