Subscribe to Canada Free Press for FREE

A portable device with an advanced sensor can "sniff" out counterfeit liquors

‘Sniffing’ out counterfeit liquors


By —— Bio and Archives--January 17, 2018

Comments | Print Friendly | Subscribe | Email Us

'Sniffing' out counterfeit liquors
Watered-down or fake liquors can reap financial rewards for nefarious individuals, but the adulteration of liquor cheats consumers and can even lead to health hazards from added contaminants. Scientists now report in ACS Sensors a portable device with an advanced sensor array that can identify liquors and determine if they’d been altered, offering a strategy for liquor quality assurance.

In the past few years, deaths from contaminated alcohol have been reported in Indonesia, Mexico, China, Poland and Russia, among other places. Unscrupulous individuals hoping to make a profit may homebrew liquor and bottle it in official-looking packaging or dilute liquor with anything from water to antifreeze. Kenneth S. Suslick and Zheng Li from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wanted to address this growing health concern by engineering a device that can easily identify tainted products.

The researchers developed a disposable sensor with 36 dyes that change color upon exposure to particular components in liquor. Partial oxidation of the liquor vapors improved the sensor’s response. Using a handheld image analyzer to detect these color changes, the scientists correctly identified the alcoholic content and brand of 14 different liquors, including various scotch whiskies, bourbon, rye, brandy and vodka with greater than 99 percent accuracy. In a proof-of-concept experiment to demonstrate a real-world application, the researchers also sniffed out booze that had been watered down, even by as little as 1 percent.

The authors acknowledge postdoctoral funding from the Procter and Gamble Foundation.

A Hand-Held Optoelectronic Nose for the Identification of Liquors


American Chemical Society -- Bio and Archives | Comments

American Chemical Society, ACS is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.


Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.
-- Follow these instructions on registering: