Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Caught in the Whiskey Web

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

An unusual method for American Whiskey authentication.

Food fraud, whiskey
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database.
Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

When we talk about the identification of fraudulent foods and beverages, many elaborate methods are available in analytical chemistry and food labs. The method of using “whiskey webs” is quite unusual in its simplicity; it is based on the unique residue left behind by each beverage after evaporation. American Whiskey is matured in new charred oak barrels that transfer a number of water-insoluble components into the final product, allowing each whiskey to leave behind its own unique “fingerprint”.


  1. Wilson, C. (October 29, 2019). “American whiskey leaves behind a web-like ‘fingerprint’, finds study”. Decanter.


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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

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