Burnley business develops device to detect fake whisky

A Burnley business specialising in authentication and detection technology has created a rapid ‘taste’ test to identify counterfeit whisky.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:00 am
The portable device by Burnley firm Eluceda can tell when genuine bottles of whisky have been refilled or diluted.

The portable device by Eluceda, which has its headquarters in Burnley, can tell when genuine bottles of whisky have been refilled or diluted.

Eluceda’s handheld kits can authenticate genuine whisky by detecting the unique electrochemical ‘taste’ of specific batches of product.

The new authentication solution uses established detection technology to identify the unique ‘taste’ of a specific whisky – without the need for additives or other on-products security measures.

The test works with the drink’s specific chemical makeup and can provide rapid results.

Dr Ian Eastwood, chief technology officer at Eluceda, said: “Authentication is a key tool in combating counterfeiters in any industry but often methods for food and drink are slow and expensive, sometimes requiring central laboratory testing, making for long lead times.

“Our solution helps change this by giving distilleries, brands and enforcement officers a rapid and accurate way to prove that their whisky is genuine.”

Eluceda’s E-Sens handheld detectors use customised electrodes containing specific catalysts which react with the unique groups of molecules in the whisky to produce a digital ‘fingerprint’.

Each reading is analysed using algorithms which compare the sample being tested against a database of genuine whisky samples.

Dr Eastwood added: “Our rapid authentication technology provides a valuable tool for brands and enforcement officers.

"From detecting the adulteration of whisky samples with water or other liquids, through to identifying potentially dangerous counterfeits, we have a quick and simple test that delivers consumer confidence and maintains brand reputation”.