Researchers from Strathclyde University in Glasgow invented an infrared spectrometer which can check the authenticity of Scottish Whisky. The new method of works by measuring ethanol concentration in undiluted samples of whisky and also examines the dried samples of the residue of the whisky.

The infrared spectrometer is a handheld rod containing fibre-optic probes which identifies the whisky by measuring whether the alcohol content in the sample matches the brand. It also checks whether ingredients such as caramel coloring are present in required quantities or not.

Professor David Littlejohn from the university's department of pure and applied chemistry, who led the research, said there was an urgent need to develop such a method because the whisky industry loses millions of pounds each year to black market traders.

The researchers involved in the study tested 17 samples of blended whisky and eight of these samples were correctly identified as authentic while other nine samples were found to be fake.

Littlejohn told the BBC reports, "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".



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