Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that a novel technique using ‘‘fluorescence spectroscopy’ could provide a relatively simple and rapid way to help detect wine fraud.
Trials showed the method had ‘great potential’ to authenticate the geographical origin of wines, according to a study on the research published in the issue of Food Chemistry journal dated 15 January 2021.
During testing, researchers at the University of Adelaide said they were able to correctly identify Cabernet Sauvignon wines from three different regions of Australia, and one from Bordeaux.
The method showed 100% accuracy, they said in a press release last month.
‘This method provides a “fingerprint” of the samples according to the presence of fluorophoric or light-emitting compounds,’ said Ruchira Ranaweera, PhD student at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Research Institute, who conducted the research.
‘When used in combination with a robust data analysis using a particular machine learning algorithm, it is proving to be a powerful technique for authentication.’
The ultimate aim was identify specific ‘chemical markers’ for different wine regions, said associate professor David Jeffery, the project leader.
‘Other than coming up with a robust method for authenticity testing, we are hoping to use the chemical information obtained from fluorescence data to identify the molecules that are differentiating the wines from the different regions,’ said Jeffrey, from the Waite Research Institute and the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.
The researchers said the technique could have other benefits, too.
‘There are other useful applications of this technology for the wine industry that are available now or in the pipeline, such as phenolic and wine colour analysis, and smoke taint detection,’ they said.
Jeffrey said the approach could also help producers with regional branding.
Their research was supported by Wine Australia and the Australian Government, the Waite Research Institute and industry partners through the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production.