Company reveals devices to detect oxidation and cork taint
- Thursday 4 October 2007
The devices, the only ones in the world of their kind, were developed by the University of California, Davis (UCD), with funding from the owner of the Crystal Springs resort in Vernon, New Jersey.
Resort owner Gene Mulvihill, who boasts a collection of over 50,000 bottles, began funding the research several years ago, saying he wanted to come up with devices that would test the quality of fine wines without opening and damaging bottles.
In 2003, chemists at UCD first developed a wine scanner using MRI technology used in the medical field, to determine whether or not a bottle of wine was spoilt by oxidization.
Mulvihill continued his collaboration with the university to create a cork taint device that can detect the molecule 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) and determine a bottle’s mustiness to 1 point per trillion. The normal level at which humans can detect TCA is considered to be 3 to 4 parts per trillion.
The testing process takes between two and twenty minutes.
‘People are paying for good wines,’ he said. ‘Now they have the technology to make sure they are [good].’