New test for fake whisky

26 July, 2011

A method for distinguishing between authentic and counterfeit Scotch whisky brand has been devised by scientists at the University of Strathclyde. 

Researchers from the university's Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry say the system could help the Scotch whisky industry in its fight against lost revenue and threats to brand reputation.

Professor David Littlejohn, who led the research, said: “The whisky industry has tools at its disposal for telling authentic and counterfeit whisky brands apart but many of them involve lab-based analysis, which isn’t always the most convenient system if a sample needs to be identified quickly.

“There’s a growing need for methods that can provide simpler and faster identification and we have developed a method which could be adapted for devices to use on site, without the need to return samples to a lab.”

The method uses mid-infrared spectrometry and probes incorporating novel optical fibres developed by Fibre Photonics, who co-sponsored the research.

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