Products tested

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages Alcoholic beverages Alcoholic beverages

Why test it?

Adulteration of alcoholic beverages has been always one of the most prevalent fraud types, due to the significant economic gains. Unfortunately, it has been and it remains till today the food category with the most devastating impact on human lives due to fraud. On the other hand, there is a long list of available testing methods that are capable of verifying the authenticity of alcoholic beverages and securing the product’s added-value, against fraud and adulteration.

Especially when it comes to wine, geographical origin can have a significant impact on a product’s value, reflecting quality, brand image, authenticity and other properties. The water oxygen isotope signature in musts and wines profoundly reflects the geographic origin and the source area’s climatic conditions. Furthermore, combined with the hydrogen isotope ratio, the geographic signature of the local water is imprinted into wine’s water isotopic composition. Traditionally, the above parameters are considered the most significant indicators of the grapes’ source area.

To achieve high geographical resolution and credible results, we use our global database, as well as our expertise and know-how to provide advanced customized origin testing by including more parameters such as carbon isotope composition of the ethanol, related to the wine type, grape variety, vintage year etc.

The most common fraud type in alcoholic beverages is the substitution or addition of ethanol. Mainly committed for economic gain, often it carries significant hazards to human health such as presence of methanol. Ethanol characterizes also the spirit type regarding the raw material used in production, for instance sugarcane for rum, blue agave for tequila or potato for vodka. Carbon and hydrogen isotopes are able to verify the botanical source of the ethanol, as well as to detect synthetic ethanol from petrochemicals.

Another fraud risk that endangers the authenticity of wines is the addition of water in wine. Using official methods and internal standards (such as the oxygen isotope composition of ethanol), we are able to detect exogenous water in wine, regardless the geographical origin of the products.

The addition of glycerol in wine has been also reported as enrichment method; however the synthetic glycerol is often used as cheap alternative. Carbon isotope composition of glycerol is used in comparison to internal standards (such as the carbon isotope composition of ethanol), in order to detect such practices.

There are several valuable natural ingredients in alcoholic beverages that define quality. The enrichment of these compounds with cheaper synthetic versions of sometimes chemically identical ingredients is used by fraudsters in order to elevate the quality artificially. The detection of synthetic flavors in spirits and wines refers to different applications, for instance in fruit brandies, liquor, flavored drinks or lactone isomers in wine. Some other examples of addition of synthetic ingredients are the addition of tartaric acid in wine as well as the addition of technical CO2 in sparkling wine and beer.

In many cases, the risk of adulteration does not come from a targeted ingredients substation or addition. It might be an unknown factor of differentiation, for example different qualities of lots and sublots, different blend or simply different recipe. In such cases, we can use untargeted fingerprinting of the products with one or more analytical methods of our portfolio, in order to identify differences and provide useful information for further investigation of such inconsistencies.

OIV-MA-AS2-12Origin verification, Water addition
OIV-MA-AS314-03Added CO2
OIV-MA-AS312-07Glycerol addition
OIV-MA-AS312-06C4-sugar/ethanol addition
OIV-MA-AS311-05C3-sugar/ethanol addition

Ready to start?

Testing doesn't have to be difficult. We’ve got your back!

With us you get the easiest way to the best results!

Book a Free Consultation

Email Us

Call Us

+43 2618 20480

Ready to start?
Imprint Analytics