Food or drink is deliberately denatured when a substance known as a denaturant is added to render the food unpleasant or dangerous to consume. Aversive agents—primarily bitterants and pungent agents—are used to produce an unpleasant flavor. For example, the bitterant denatonium might be added to food used in a laboratory, where such food is not intended for human consumption. A poisonous substance may be added as an even more powerful deterrent. For example, methanol is blended with ethanol to produce denatured alcohol. The addition of methanol, which is poisonous, renders denatured alcohol unfit for consumption, as ingesting denatured alcohol may result in serious injury or death. Thus denatured alcohol is not subject to the taxes usually levied on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages.
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