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Detection of counterfeit Scotch whisky samples using mid-infrared spectrometry with an attenuated total reflectance probe incorporating polycrystalline silver halide fibres

McIntyre, Allyson C. and Bilyk, Madeleine L. and Nordon, Alison and Colquhoun, Gary and Littlejohn, David (2011) Detection of counterfeit Scotch whisky samples using mid-infrared spectrometry with an attenuated total reflectance probe incorporating polycrystalline silver halide fibres. Analytica Chimica Acta, 690 (2). pp. 228-233. ISSN 0003-2670

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Abstract

Two methods of analysis were developed to permit detection of counterfeit Scotch whisky samples using a novel attenuated total reflectance (ATR) diamond-tipped immersion probe for mid-infrared (MIR) spectrometry. The first method allowed determination of the ethanol concentration (35-45% (v/v)) in situ without dilution of the samples; the results obtained compared well with the supplied concentrations (average relative error of 1.2% and 0.8% for univariate and multivariate partial least squares (PLS) calibration, respectively). The second method involved analysis of dried residues of the whisky samples and caramel solutions on the diamond ATR crystal; principal component analysis (PCA) of the spectra was used to classify the samples and investigate the colorant added. Seventeen test whisky samples were successfully categorised as either authentic or counterfeit in a blind study when both MIR methods were used.