Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) are esterification products of fatty acid and ethanol formed during periods of ethanol ingestion.


Units for FAEE: nmol/L


Kinetics of fatty acid ethyl esters:

(1) Serum levels of FAEE rise during ethanol ingestion.

(2) Initially there is a rapid decline in serum levels similar to the decay curve for ethanol.

(3) After the initial decline, there is a very slow secondary elimination phase, with persistence of FAEE for at least 24 hours after ethanol intake was completed.


Analysis: Extraction followed by GC-mass spectrometry



• Without alcohol consumption serum FAEE levels are 0 nmol/L.

• Increased levels indicates alcohol ingestion within the past 24 hours.

• The presence of FAEE can confirm borderline ethanol results.



• The cost of GC-mass spectrometry limits this method for many situations.


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