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New test spots fake Scotch in double-quick time

Published: 26/07/2011

By SHÂN ROSS

A SPEEDY test to identify counterfeit whisky brands has been developed by Scottish scientists.

Researchers from the University of Strathclyde and development company Fibre Photonics said the method could be operated away from laboratories, providing quick onsite results.

The scientists who analysed 17 blended whisky samples by inserting probes with optical fibres into whisky samples to examine the levels of ethanol and colorant in each, correctly identified eight authentic and nine counterfeit samples.

Professor David Littlejohn, who led the research published in Analytica Chimica Acta, said: "There’s a growing need for methods that can provide simpler and faster identification and we have developed a system which could be adapted for devices to use on site, without the need to return samples to a lab.

"It could be of great benefit to an industry which is hugely important to the economy."

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