German chemists have developed a new method, which reveals whether a whiskey is fake, its age, its country of origin, even if it has a strong or light taste. Current methods of analysis use mass spectrometry to determine the chemical composition of a whiskey. The new technique, which is faster and cheaper, is based on a sensor-synthetic “language”, using 22 different fluorescent dyes, which are mixed with the drink.
Depending on how the fluorescence of each dye changes, a “profile” characteristic for each whiskey appears. The new method – unlike mass spectrometry – can not detect very small quantities of substances in a whiskey such as the traces of any toxins, but “working” like human language can stand out if two bottles of whiskey having the same label , are indeed the same.
The researchers, headed by Uwe Buck of the University of Heidelberg, who made the relevant publication in the chemistry journal Chem, according to Science and New Scientist, tried the new method successfully in 33 different whiskeys (Scotch , Irish, American, etc.).
The sensor was able to distinguish them from their different chemical signature, as well as distinguishing malt from blended whiskeys (whiskeys which are not the product of blending or derived from the mixing of products from the same distillery).
“The method can detect adulterated whiskeys. If you buy a box of expensive whiskey, you can do the test to make sure you actually got what you think, “Buck said.
German researchers intend to test their method in red wines, other alcoholic beverages, food and perfumes. They have already done it with white wines, fruit juices, medicines and protein.