It's a myth that added alcohol burns off during cooking

I found this interesting post on another food website. It quotes a USDA report about Nutrient Retention Factors of foods after cooking. One category is alcohol added to food and how much remains after various cooking methods. The part about alcohol retention in cooking begins on page 125, ALC BEV. Even after baking or boiling for an hour, 25% of the alcohol remains. See details below:

[i]"Contrary to popular opinion, cooking removes only a portion of the alcohol added to a dish,
a much smaller portion than previously thought.

Perhaps most interesting, 75% of the alcohol remains after flambe-ing. A whopping thirty-five percent (35%) of alcohol remains even after a dish has been simmered 30 minutes on the stove, according to a 2003 USDA study. Alcohol remains in a dish chemically, even when its taste in undetectable – a very important consideration for someone in sobriety or for those cooking for someone in sobriety.

[b]USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, Release 5 (2003)[/b]

Table from USDA Showing Percent of Alcohol Retained After Cooking

Preparation Method Percent of Alcohol Retained

alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85% retained
alcohol flamed 75% retained
no heat, stored overnight 70% retained
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45% retained

baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
15 minutes 40% retained
30 minutes 35% retained
1 hour 25% retained
1.5 hours 20% retained
2 hours 10% retained
2.5 hours 5% retained

From the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, April, 2002, by Eleese Cunningham:

“The extent of loss depends on the severity of the heat application, or any other factor favoring evaporation. Cooking time had the greatest impact on alcohol retention. Flaming a dish results in much smaller losses of alcohol than cooking. Uncooked and briefly cooked dishes had the highest alcohol retention. Alcohol retention during cooking was also greatly affected by the size of the cooking vessel used. The smaller the cooking utensil the greater the amount alcohol retained. This was likely due to the smaller surface area for evaporation.”[/i]

Well, I might of been one who would of argued, but it seems like good data here, so perhaps I’ve been wrong.
My assumption, because alcohol turns to steam at 178F, which is well below boiling water at 212F, just seemed to make sense that the alcohol would evaporate.
But its hard to disagree with the USDA’s findings.
That being the case, must mean MSG is absolutely safe, coz thats also something they’ve proven…

MSG is only unsafe for those who are sensitive to it. Millions, here in Asia use it all the time with no ill effects.

I was looking at this the other day. I found out this report has been out since at least 1989 and the latest one is from 2007. New reports have confirmed the above data.