Innovation: Nuclear wine alert

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Scientists at the Ministry of Agriculture's Food Science Laboratory in Norwich are using a technique based on nuclear magnetic resonance to check that wine has not been adulterated with sugar, to increase its alcoholic strength. The added sugars contain minute quantities of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen absorbed from rainwater. When grape juice is fermented, the deuterium remains, and can be measured to provide a reference value for comparison with control samples of wine from the same geographical regions and vintages, held on a central European Union databank.