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Jul 3, 2012 10:29 AM

TCA Contamination - Just in Wine?

We all know about TCA contamination - cork taint - occuring in wine on occasion. Recently, however, I purchased some bottled water that finished with that same dull wet cardboard aftertaste that I associate with corked wines. Is it possible for TCA contamination to affect other packaged liquid products - such as this lousy water?

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  1. I once had a bottle of Hendrick's Gin that smelled and tasted corked. I have no idea if that was the result of TCA or just something that was not clean during the production and bottling process.

    1. Yes. Taint can affect many beverages and foods. TCA infection of water is common.

      TCA, TBA, PCA and TeCA all belong to the family of compounds called haloanisoles.

      They're formed by molds interacting with chlorine, bromine and other substances. The water supply can be infected especially if it is highly chlorinated.

      Read more here:

      And here are scientific citations of haloanisole infection of water:

      1 Reply
      1. re: maria lorraine

        Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I returned the undrunk containers of water to the supermarket and got a refund. I sounded like a science teacher explaining TCA contamination to the grocery manager. Thanks again!!

      2. I used a corked bottle of Grey Goose vodka for a couple of years to show people exactly what TCA smelled like.

        Also those baby carrots you get in cellophane packs you get on the airlines always smell and taste like some sort of anisole.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jock

          And, the water in MY part of PHX, is "very corked." Not sure about other areas of the Phoenix-Metro Area.


          1. re: jock

            The same as the "baby" carrots on sale in the supermarket. They are all carved out of "regular" carrots and treated with some sort of anisole.

            1. re: ChefJune

              Just a slight correction: No one would *treat* with an anisole. Anisoles are undesirable and always an error.

              You're right about those baby carrots, though -- they certainly seem tainted from being washed in chlorinated water and being exposed to airborne molds. The two together create the taint. I think it's closer to TBA rather than TCA in the baby carrots, but that's just a guess -- it's that greenish wet cardboard taste rather than the regular wet cardboard taste that makes me think so.