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LGR's Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer Extends Analytical Capability to Wines

Posted on August 08, 2012

Los Gatos Research (LGR), the world leader in high precision analyzers for trace gas and isotope-ratio measurements, today announced that it has formally validated the capability of the company's Liquid Water Isotope Analyzers to simultaneously measure multiple isotopic ratios in wine without pretreatment or purification. This analytical capability will allow authentication and identification of counterfeit or diluted wines and may be extended to other beverages and products.

"According to Wine Spectator, experts suspect that as much as 5% of the wine sold in secondary markets could be counterfeit. Whether it's through dilution, mislabeling, blending inferior varieties or even adding dangerous chemicals, wine fraud is a multi-billion dollar international issue," said LGR President Dr. Douglas Baer. "LGR's patented laser-based analyzers offer a simple solution for authenticating wines and other high-value products."

LGR's proprietary Spectral Contamination Identifier (SCI) software, proven to accurately determine isotope ratios (2H/1H, 18O/16O) from contaminated water samples, was used with LGR's Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer to accurately analyze both red and white wines. Measurement accuracy was confirmed by comparing the results with analyses obtained using a conventional isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS).

"Unlike older, complicated methods, LGR analyzers are inexpensive, simple to use and allow direct measurements quickly without complex sample pretreatment or distillation. While developed and proven for isotopic measurements of wine, our technology also offers new opportunities for verifying the source and purity of other food and beverages as well as petroleum products and pharmaceuticals," said Baer.

The effectiveness of LGR's patented LWIA and proprietary SCI software results from LGR's novel method of recording detailed high-resolution laser absorption spectra. The SCI software performs a detailed analysis on these complex spectra to yield accurate isotopic ratios even in mixtures containing alcohols. "We were able to quantify the isotopic ratios in several red and white Italian wines with extremely high precision comparable to IRMS. However unlike IRMS, the LWIA reports the ratios 2H/1H and 18O/16O simultaneously, directly and with high throughput. LGR's SCI software was able to accurately determine isotopic ratios even in wines containing 12% alcohol," said LGR Chief Technology Officer Dr. Manish Gupta. "We are presently extending the method to other complex alcoholic beverages, juices and liquids," he added.

LGR ( makes the world's most precise, rugged and reliable instruments for measurements of trace gases and isotopes. LGR instruments have been deployed by scientists for acquiring the most accurate measurements possible on all seven continents, in unmanned aerial vehicles, in mobile laboratories, on research and commercial aircraft, and in undersea vehicles.

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