FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control

Wine production requires constant product observation and process control from grape ripening to the bottling of the finished product.

FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control is an excellent choice. It allows swift and simultaneous analysis of multiple wine components with minimal sample preparation and without the need for reagents or consumeables.

Life is too short to drink bad wine…

In ancient times, wine was dubbed the „drink of the gods“, and it comes as no surprise that we still like to celebrate and toast with a good glass of wine.

But did you know that „glass toasting“ was originally intended to prevent people from being poisoned by their enemies? They toasted vigorously to spill wine from their cup into the one of another. If the wine was poisoned, you could be sure that the „villain“ would not drink his beverage.

Well, if FTIR spectroscopy had been available at that time, it might have been possible to find out much easier and quicker if your wine was poisoned, but certainly, if it was a good quality beverage or just cheap hooch.

FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control at the court of King Arthur.
The ALPHA II wine-analyzer at the court of King Arthur?

Wine – a complex matter

Wine has a complex chemical composition and is the result of numerous biochemical and physicochemical reactions. Because of that it is essential to closely monitor wine in order to guarantee its consistent quality.

With the ALPHA II wine analyzer from Bruker you can determine numerous quality related parameters such as the alcohol, acid, and sugar content in a fast and reliable manner. Since no reagents or consumables are needed the method is quite cost effective.

FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control with the ALPHA II wine-analyzer
ALPHA II wine-analyzer with flow through cell

How does it work?

The wine-sample is analyzed by utilizing the so called ATR measurement technique. This guarantees precise and reproducible analysis results. The measurement can be performed manually or for a higher sample throughput fully automated with an optionally available autosampler.

Its hard- and software allow the wine-analyzer also to be operated by inexperienced personnel. Because the user is guided through the analysis process with the aid of a special software-wizard (see image below), operating errors are almost completely ruled out.

Among the parameters that can be determined are: Fructose and glucose content as well as alcohol and the pH. Let’s look at some data!

FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control with the ALPHA II.
Top: User interface of the ALPHA II wine analyzer. Bottom: PDF-report of the analytical result.


With the ALPHA II wine analyzer you are able to reliably monitor the ripening process and quality of your wine at any time. Several parameters that are crucial for wine-making are acquired in parallel with one single measurement.
An extensive starter-calibration is available and can be adapted to specific demands. It is possible to expand and optimize the calibration database as well as to add new calibration parameters. This makes FTIR spectroscopy in wine quality control and excellent choice.

Of course, wine is not the only beverage we can test with our instruments. If you are interested in more applications, take a look at our blog entry or video about the analysis of hot chocolate.