Scientists in Switzerland, including a prominent Greek researcher from the diaspora, have created the world’s first portable “pocket” device that – in combination with a “smart” mobile phone application – can directly detect methanol levels in alcoholic beverages and reveal whether they have been falsified.
Until now, the method for detecting methanol is through fluid chromatography, a laboratory technique that separates and measures different chemicals in a liquid mixture. This method, however, is time consuming and expensive.
Researchers at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), with the participation of Professor Sotiris Pratsini, have developed a cheap portable and “smart” detection device that allows the rapid detection of methanol, and ethanol.
The device uses a new sensor that absorbs the beverage gases and analyses them instantaneously. It then sends the results to a special mobile phone app which immediately warns about possible substance corruption on the screen.
Checking the device for 89 alcoholic beverages has shown that it works with great precision for months.