Real-Time Authentication of Whiskeys Using DART-QDa Analysis

Monitoring for Food Adulteration (Food Fraud)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: joe_romano@waters.com; 508-482-2963


ABSTRACT

Whiskey, a popular spirit-based drink, is sold as the product of one distillery or as a blend available worldwide. Analytical methods are required for process control and quality assurance but production is often also strongly regulated with regards to the authenticity of the product. The high popularity of these products generates a high risk of fraud. The characteristics of whiskey are strongly influenced by the cereals used in fermentation and by distillation, maturation and blending regimes. This leads to characteristic profiles exploited for authenticity analysis typically using gas chromatography combined with chemometrics. Such methods can be time-consuming, due to the demands of the chromatographic separation so there is a need for development of tools for more rapid testing.
We have demonstrated the potential of Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) coupled with simple mass detection (QDa) and multivariate statistics for the rapid analysis of whisky samples. Here we report further results of comparative analysis of authentic samples of whiskey brands and determine whether it is possible to distinguish them using LiveID software. LiveID has a visually modern, attractive, web-based interface that offers a workflow-driven process that is easy to learn and use. Initially, authentic reference samples are used to create and validate a statistical model, which are tested with unknown samples to generate live classifications. The output is a simple to interpret yes/no answer delivered in real-time.