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Research by the Senior Expert Office for Wine

The quality characteristics of a wine - like wine growing area, grape variety, vintage - must be indicated on the label. However, this information is not always accurate. Analytical methods are therefore needed to confirm all declarations of label descriptions or to detect fraudulent statements or illegal additives like glycerol. The official wine control requires methods that improve the analysis of wine and permit the identification of its origin.

The task of the BfR Senior Expert Office for Wine is to develop methods to determine origin, grape variety, illegal additives and unauthorised oenological practices. The BfR Senior Expert Office for Wine is also responsible for authenticating other foods.

Research areas

  • Development and validation of methods

    • Detection of glycerine admixture to wine
    • Determination of thujone in absinth
    • Quantification of wine ingredients using nuclear magnetic response (NMR)
  • Further development of databases for the authentication of wine (analytical methods, parameters and assessment)

  • Development of methods for the authentication of wine and foods

    • Conduct of the EU research project on the creation of a database for third country wines similar to the EU wine database (determination of origin of wines using multivariate statistics)
    • Use of stable isotope ratio analysis for authentication (isotope ratio mass spectrometry: 18O/16O, 13C/12C analysis of higher alcohols)
    • Determination of origin of pistachio nuts (stable isotope ratio analysis, NMR)



Contact person
Dr. Carsten Fauhl-Hassek (Head of)




Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
FGr 83 - Senior Expert Office for the Import Control of Wine
Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10
10589 Berlin

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