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Laser-based measurements of 18O/16O stable isotope ratios (δ18O) in wine samples

Authors Gupta M, Leen JB, Berman ES, Ciambotti A

Received 4 July 2013

Accepted for publication 31 July 2013

Published 6 September 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 47—54


Checked for plagiarism Yes

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Peer reviewer comments 4

Manish Gupta,1 J Brian Leen,1 Elena Simone Franklin Berman,1 Aldo Ciambotti2

1Los Gatos Research, Mountain View, CA, USA; 2Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Centro di Ricerca per l'Enologia, Asti, Italy

Abstract: Wine counterfeiting is an international, multi-billion dollar issue, with some estimates suggesting that up to 5% of wines sold at auctions or secondary markets are fraudulent. Isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) measurements of the 18O/16O stable isotope ratio (δ18O) of water-in-wine have been used for wine authentication; however, these analyses are time-consuming and costly. In this preliminary study, off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) is used to quantify δ18O in wines. This laser-based method has been extensively used to study water isotopes for hydrological and medical applications. Recently, the development of a spectral contaminant identifier (SCI) has extended the application of these OA-ICOS analyzers to contaminated water samples (eg, plant, soil, and leaf waters). Here, we utilize OA-ICOS with the SCI to characterize wine samples (9%–15% ethanol), and show that the laser-based instrument provides a δ18O measurement precision of ±0.07‰ (1σ) and agrees with IRMS to within ±0.63‰ (1σ). Moreover, by training the SCI on isotopically-characterized wines, the agreement with IRMS improves to within ±0.30‰ (1σ). The utility of the instrument is demonstrated by measuring watered and mixed wines. The method presented here can be readily extended to address other food authentication applications.

Keywords: wine isotopes, wine fraud, counterfeit wines, OA-ICOS

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