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Now, a portable alcohol tester to catch drink fraud!

Bar owners, who water down their beer or wine, beware! Scientists have developed a new portable alcohol tester, which they claim can catch your fraud.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2010 18:53 IST

Bar owners, who water down their beer or wine, beware! Scientists have developed a new portable alcohol tester, which they claim can catch your fraud.

According to the 'New Scientist', the briefcase-sized device contains a spectrometer, which measures alcohol content just by passing infrared radiation through a sample, and then compares the spectrum of frequencies transmitted through the liquid with those of a reference sample.

"It only takes 30 to 60 seconds," Dirk Lachenmeier of the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation testing agency in Karlsruhe, Germany, who helped develop and test the device, was quoted as saying.

Test results show the device produced near identical results to powerful lab equipment when testing the alcohol content of 260 drink samples.

The portable device, which is being manufactured by Unisensor Sensorsysteme, also of Karlsruhe, costs Euro 3000.

The UK Trading Standards Institute, a professional body, has said the device looks "far superior" to portable equipment currently in use. But it adds that it would probably be most suited to initial checks only.

The findings have been published in the latest edition of the 'Chemistry Central Journal'.