New counterfeit booze-busting test

With reports of counterfeit alcohol increasing in parts of Europe, demand for testing for dangerous and illegal alcohol additives such as methanol is on the up too.
Although methanol, a potent toxicant in humans, can occur naturally in very low levels in some alcoholic beverages, dangerous amounts of methanol may occur in or be added deliberately illicit beverages.
“Methanol contamination can have devastating effects if the tainted product reaches consumers. However, the cost and time involved in sending samples to an outside laboratory to test alcoholic beverages for methanol has inhibited comprehensive safety testing in the industry,” says Neogen Europe’s Dr Steve Chambers.
That’s why the diagonostic kit company has come up with Alertfor Methanol, which it says can be used on-site by anyone with minimal training and can quickly help prevent products that pose potentially serious health hazards from reaching the consumer.”
“Alert for Methanol is a 10-minute colour change field test for the determination of methanol contamination in spirits, beer and wine that can detect methanol levels as low as 0.35% (v/v),” explains Chambers.
“The simple test procedure involves adding a sample to a vial of reagent. If the liquid in the vial turns an intense dark colour, the sample is positive for methanol at 0.35% (v/v) or more.”

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