A fruit fly has landed in your wine – is it OK to drink?

A fruit fly is about to land in your chilled sauvignon blanc glass as you are about to take a drink. The fly appears to be dead. You know where the flies are, but you still wonder if you can drink it.

Fruit flies, despite their savory name (Drosophila ), consume decaying food. The flies can be found in garbage bins, compost piles, or anywhere food is available, even drains. Rotting food contains many germs that can carry on their bodies and spread to other places.

E. coli, Shigella, and Salmonella are all bacteria that can cause serious infections in healthy people. You realize that the fruit fly may have deposited potentially deadly microbes into your wine. So you throw it away and pour another glass.

The scientific evidence indicates that you might have wasted a nice glass of wine. Wine typically contains between 8%-14% ethanol and has a pH level of around 4 or 5. A pH lower than seven is considered acidic.

It is known that alcohol inhibits germs, which is why wine can be kept for such a long time. In several laboratory studies, it was shown that wine alcohol combined with organic acids, such as malic, could prevent the growth of E. coli. And Salmonella.

It is well known that wine inhibits the growth of germs such as E. coli. 

The number of germs deposited by the fruit fly (the “infectious dosage”) and the metabolic fitness of the germs will determine whether they can cause an infection. The wine that the fruit fly drank was also cold, which can shock their metabolism so much that they stop growing.

All types of wine, whether red, white or rose, chilled or at room temperature, are naturally antibacterial. Germs will be more likely to become damaged and lose their ability to cause infection. The flies may have deposited enough germs in the wine to cause illness, but they will not cause infection because they are damaged. The contaminated wine can be consumed without any harm, whether it is chilled or not.

It is then the body that has to be fought with

If not directly damaged by the wine, any bacteria still living from the fruit fly deposits will come into contact with the highly acids fluids in the human stomach.

Acid can kill food-poisoning bacteria. They are very sensitive to it. It damages their DNA. Germs in the stomach must also overcome other deadly obstacles, such as digestion enzymes, mucus, and the always-watchful defenses of the immune system. The wine germs that flies deposit are unlikely to cause an infection.

I suggest that you remove the fly and drink the wine instead unless you’re a germ-phobe. You could also swallow the fly if you wanted to get more protein.

Even if you have several fruit flies, they are unlikely to affect the taste of your wine. The digestive system will process the fruit fly just like any other type of protein. Salud!


What will students learn from the course?

Understanding how addictive substances impact the minds and bodies of students can help them be better advocates for themselves and others. Students in pre-health get an introduction to the medical issues surrounding addiction and to how American writers have depicted alcohol for many years.

Frances Watkins Harper, for example, wrote “The Two Offers” in the 1850s. It is thought to be the very first short story written by a woman of African descent. The story is a temperance tale that warns young women against marrying a drunkard. It highlights the concerns of the Black community in the antebellum about domestic well-being and sobriety, as well as freedom.

Students will develop their critical reading and writing abilities while being challenged to consider the impact of alcohol and substance abuse on American culture and society.

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