In the alcoholic beverages industry, congeners are substances other than alcohol produced during fermentation. These substances include small amounts of chemicals such as other alcohols (known as fusel alcohols), Methanol, acetone, acetaldehyde, esters, tannins, and aldehydes (e.g. furfural). Congeners are responsible for most of the taste and aroma of distilled alcoholic beverages, and contribute to the taste of non-distilled drinks. It has been suggested that these substances contribute to the symptoms of a hangover. Congeners have also been used by forensic toxicologists to assist in determining the alcoholic beverage consumed by an individual in a sub-discipline called alcohol congener analysis.
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