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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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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