A team of scientists at the University of St Andrews, the oldest in Scotland, has developed a technology based on laser Raman spectroscopy, which allows you to determine the quality of expensive branded whiskey without opening the bottle. Alas, the problem of falsification of expensive alcoholic beverages is very relevant all over the world. In the UK alone, producers of legal alcoholic beverages lose up to 200 million pounds annually because of this.
Counterfeit manufacturers today spare no effort or money to convince the buyer of the authenticity and impeccable quality of their "product" by packaging it in branded glass containers and supplying it with an authentic cork and label. Having already come home and uncorked the coveted bottle, the gullible buyer discovers in it a dubious and sometimes life-threatening mixture - for example, flavored ethanol.
According to the researchers, the idea of laser spectroscopy for identifying wine and other substances is not new, but previously it was ineffective in the analysis of alcoholic beverages.
This is because standard Raman spectroscopy measures the scattering of light as it passes through the sample molecules to produce a unique signature. The glass from which the whiskey bottle is made also scatters light and generates a strong false signal, preventing the beam from penetrating inside. Because of this, the alcohol sample had to be irradiated directly.
The new technology avoids the undesirable effect: the laser "shoots" two beams, one of which forms a ring of laser light on the bottle, and the other focuses on a specific point inside the bottle contents. Since the beams are generated from two different points, the detector separates the signal from the glass from the signal from the whiskey. This allows you to quickly determine the authenticity of the drink without opening the bottle.