14c dating and wine fraud

Carbon-dating wine can spot fake vintages: research - Telegraph

14c dating and wine fraud

Although there are many factors that contributed to this decline, wine fraud has had a One goal is to extract ethanol for isotopic analysis, such as 14C dating. Feb 11, A team of researchers in Australia, who think "vintage fraud" is widespread, have come up with a test that uses radioactive carbon isotopes left. Mar 22, Scientists have developed a way of 'carbon-dating' wine so cheap plonk made in a poor year cannot be passed off as a fine vintage.

Knowing how atmospheric 14C levels have fluctuated over time, archaeologists and earth scientists can date once-living things back for about 50 millennia. Above-ground nuclear weapons testing nearly doubled the amount of 14C in the atmosphere and made radioisotope dating practical for contemporary forensics as well as ancient archaeology: Newer, more sensitive techniques can work with those tiny volumes these researchers can vacuum up out of the top of the cork. Vacuuming works better on some corks than others.

Because these samples are so small, the effect of any contamination is large, which makes the whole procedure touchy. But when it works which this research suggests will be a lot of the timeradioisotopes can date the actual wine inside the bottle, enough to deal with most potential wine fraud. A less expensive wine could still be passed off as a more expensive one from the same year, though the same principle could be applied to other radioactive isotopes to help specify place of origin as well as year.

Combining multiple methods makes the number of wines a counterfeiter could exchange without detection increasingly small. The biggest challenge here may be psychological rather than technical.

14c dating and wine fraud

He was well-known for hosting lavish, flamboyant wine tastings inviting celebrities, dignitaries and wine critics. He was never specific about exactly how many bottles there were. Cesium did not exist on this planet until we exploded the first atomic bomb. It is radioactive isotope, which is not natural. It's a fission product. First you had the development of the nuclear bomb: Then in the '50s and '60s, the Cold War between the U.

Then in — the Chernobyl accident, which released a lot of cesium activity into the atmosphere.

How Atomic Particles Helped Solve A Wine Fraud Mystery

And then Fukushima Daiichi in Japan — we are following that. In some embodiments, this pressure is reached after about only one second of sampling. Because the pressure of the sample space with the coupling device will change as molecules are drawn from the closure, the pressure within the sample space is monitored while the sample is drawn, as indicated in block In some embodiments, it is necessary to maintain a relatively strong vacuum during the sampling process to remove the beverage traces from the closure.

If the vacuum were not strong enough or were not applied continuously, the system would reach an equilibrium between desorption and re-adsorption at low analyte concentrations and the sample sizes would not be sufficient for radiocarbon or stable isotope ratio measurements.

Carbon-Dating Verifies Wine Vintages : Discovery News - Seeker

In some embodiments, the sample space is maintained at a pressure of approximately 0. With reference to block 76, the sample is collected over an extended period of time while the vacuum is applied to the closure. An extended time period is necessary to draw samples of adequate size for radiocarbon and stable isotope ratio measurements. By way of example, the sample can be collected for a period of approximately 30 to minutes.

In some embodiments, the sample is collected using cryogenic trapping, which enables the collection of virtually all beverage constituents in quantities from single molecules to grams. Referring next to block 78, sampling is ceased once a sample of adequate size has been collected.

In some embodiments, whether or not an adequate sized sample has been collected can be determined in relation to the monitored pressure of the sample space which identifies the quantity of material being removed from the closure and the duration of time the sample space has been maintained at that pressure.

Once a sample of adequate size has been collected, it can be tested, as indicated in block If the sample was collected using cryogenic trapping, the sample can be transferred from the cryotrap to a glass tube, which can then be closed to form a sealed ampoule. As described above, the testing can comprise radiocarbon testing to estimate the age of the beverage or evaluation of stable isotope ratios to estimate other characteristics of the beverage, such as quality, geographical origin, type of grape, or adulteration.

In other embodiments, the sample can be tested to detect the presence of one or more compounds that can cause wine spoilage, such as acetic acid, acetaldehyde, 4-ethylphenol, geosmin, or 2,4,6-trichloroanisole TCA.

Claims 23 The invention claimed is: A system for authenticating bottled beverages, the system comprising: The system of claim 1wherein the bottle coupling device comprises a hollow body that is adapted to fit around the neck of the bottle, the body defining an interior space in which the bottle can be inserted.

The system of claim 2wherein the bottle coupling device further comprises a sample line that is in fluid communication with the interior space and the vacuum line. The system of claim 3wherein the bottle coupling device further comprises a vent line that is in fluid communication with the interior space.

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The system of claim 4wherein the bottle coupling device further comprises a coupler positioned at an end of the sample line that couples the device to the vacuum line. The system of claim 2wherein the bottle coupling device further comprises a resilient sealing member positioned at an opening to the interior space of the body. The system of claim 1further comprising a pressure sensor in fluid communication with the vacuum line that is adapted to measure the vacuum applied to the closure.

The system of claim 1further comprising a cryotrap in fluid communication with the vacuum line that is adapted to collect a sample that includes the beverage traces. The system of claim 8further comprising a quartz glass tube in which the collected sample can be placed and sealed. A bottle coupling device adapted to form an airtight seal with a neck and closure of a bottle, the device comprising: The device of claim 10further comprising a resilient sealing member positioned at an opening to the interior space of the body.

14c dating and wine fraud