The largest private reference database in wine
Agroisolab offers a wide range analysis to suit the needs of authenticity, quality and safety testing.
Not only does Agroisolab have access to the ever-growing database for the EU, but also the largest SIRA reference database of wines with more than 3900 reference samples.
Agroisolab currently has samples mainly from:
Agroisolab's global wine database
What tests do Agroisolab offer?
Many of the common types of wine fraud can be detected by isotopic testing. Here are the current tests that Agroisolab offers:
Origin/Authenticity - Using stable isotope analysis, Agroisolab are able verify claims of geographic origin, determine whether water has been added to wine, and detect chaptalisation (addition of sugar) using D/H(I) with Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) and carbon isotope ratio analysis.
Additionally, Agroisolab are able to determine whether the source of carbon dioxide in sparkling wines is natural or not. We are also able to determine the sources of fermentation in spirits and wine vinegars.
For a brief overview of the science involved in these tests, please see below.
Origin verificationAnalysis of the stable isotope ratios of oxygen are used as a standard method to verify the geographic origin of wine. Oxygen isotope ratios are also helpful to determine if additional water has been added to the wine. Prof. Dr. Förstel, one of the founders of Agroisolab, was one of the leading scientists involved in the development of this method [Förstel 1991]. Determination of the oxygen isotope ratios in wine have played a crucial role in the European wine databank. According to regulation EU 2729/2000, 400 samples of wine are analysed annually by member states to regulate the wine market. This analytical method is part of the compendium of international methods of wine analysis (OIV). *Holbach B. Förstel H. (1991) Das Verhältnis der Stabil isotopen 18O und 16O zur Beurteilung von Auslandswein. 198: 223-229.
Water additionIsotope analysed: 18O/16O (ethanol) This analytical method is used to detect water addition in wine. Recent research (Camin, 2013) has confirmed the existence of a correlation between the stable isotope ratios of oxygen in ethanol and the water component of wine. *Perini M. Camin F. (2013) 18O of ethanol in wine and spirits for authentication purposes. Journal of Food Science. 78, 839-844.
Sugar additionIsotope analysed:13C/12C Method: OIV-MA-AS312-06 This method enables the measurement of 13C/12C isotope ratios in wine ethanol and ethanol derived from the fermentation of vine products (musts, concentrated musts, grape sugar). It is used to detect addition of external sugar (mainly C4 sugars) in wine/musts which is not permitted in various countries. This analytical method is part of the compendium of international methods of wine analysis (OIV).
Undeclared sugar additionIsotope analysed: D/H EEC No: 000/90 This analytical method is used to determine the addition of sugar (e.g. beet sugar) to wine and was established as an official method in the European Commission regulation (EC) No. 000 / 90. This method is normally combined with the analysis of 13C/12C isotope ratios.
Fossil fuel CO2Isotope analysed:13C/12C Method: OIV-MA-AS314-03 This method is used to determine 13C/12C isotope ratios in the carbon dioxide of sparkling and semi-sparkling wines (e.g. Prosecco). According to European regulation, carbon dioxide in sparkling and semi-sparkling wines should originate from the fermentation process. Addition of exogenous carbon dioxide (e.g. industrial CO2) is not permitted in sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. This analytical method is part of the compendium of international methods of wine analysis (OIV).
Quality testing - Agroisolab are able to offer wine quality testing using Oenological Standard analysis that covering all requirements for determining wine quality.
Safety/Residues/Contaminants - Agroisolab are able to access an extensive suite of analytical services for determining residues and contaminants in wine ranging from pesticides to allergens.
Interested in testing wine with us? For more information, contact us.
What is the EU wine databank?
The EU wine databank was established in 1991 to protect the reputation of EU wine and minimise fraud, such as the additions of sugar and extra water in wine, by enabling laboratories to perform authenticity analyses. It has played a fundamental role in helping the EU Member States to develop the scientific and technical competences needed to carry out isotopic analysis of wine.
Agroisolab founder Professor Förstel originally developed the stable isotope method to determine the origin of wine, and played a crucial role in creating the EU wine databank.
Participating wine producers submit samples of their produce annually to the databank. As a result, it is possible for stable isotope laboratories to authenticate claims of geographic origin on bottles of wine sold at retail to a high level of accuracy.
How does origin analyses of wine work with isotopes?
In Europe, there are distinct regions that can be defined by the isotopic composition of their groundwater. The groundwater in some of these regions has more heavy oxygen present (18O), and some has less heavy oxygen.
As a result, grapes grown in the regional groundwater will absorb the oxygen isotope signature of their region.
Since wine is made from fermented grapes, it is possible to determine the geographic origin of a wine by examining the oxygen isotope ratios in the water fraction of the wine.
Further work has been carried out to isolate and analyse the isotope ratios of other components of wine. Analysing the isotopic composition of the alcohol (ethanol) in wine can help determine if sugar has been added to the wine, or can further enhance geographic origin interpretation.