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NRI scientists devise fake Scotch test

world Updated: Nov 04, 2011 00:28 IST
Indian-origin physicists

Three Indian-origin physicists in Scotland have developed a simple laser test that they claim can help detect counterfeit Scotch whisky from a sample no bigger than a teardrop.

The research was carried out by physicists Praveen Ashok, Kishan Dholakia and Bavishna Praveen. The physicists at the University of St Andrews have devised a laser test to detect counterfeit Scotch and single malt whiskies, raising the possibility of clamping down on the fake liquor industry in India and elsewhere.

The experts say the genuine Scotch one can be detected from the fake by using the power of lasers.

Using a ray of light the size of a human hair, the novel method can work out the brand, age and even which cask was used to create a single malt, from a sample no bigger than a teardrop, a university release said.

Praveen explained: "Counterfeiting is rife in the drinks industry, which is constantly searching for new, powerful and inexpensive methods for liquor analysis."

The research involves researchers placing a tiny amount of whisky on a transparent plastic chip no bigger than a credit card. Using optical fibres the whisky sample is illuminated by light using one fibre, and collected by another.

By analysing the collection of light scattered from the whiskey, the researchers are able to diagnose the sample.