Scientists invent way to test authenticity of Scotch whisky

London: Cheers! Scientists in the UK have invented what they claim is a simple way to tell real Scotch whisky from fake.

A team at Strathclyde University in Glasgow blind- tested 17 samples of blended whisky, correctly identifying eight authentic and nine fake samples using an infrared spectrometer.

The hand-held device identifies the whisky by measuring whether the alcohol content matches the label and whether ingredients such as caramel colouring are present in the quantities expected, `The Daily Telegraph` reported.

Prof David Littlejohn, who led the team, said the present method of checking authenticity involved laboratory- based analysis "which isn`t always the most convenient system if a sample needs to be identified quickly".

He added: "We have developed a system that could be adapted for use on-site."

The whisky industry loses millions of pounds a year to black market traders, particularly in the Far East and in many other Asian countries.

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