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Origin of Italian wines is controlled better with multivariate statistics
07 November 2012
Wine derives its economic value to a large extent from geographical origin, which has a significant impact on the quality of the wine. According to the food legislation, wines can be without geographical origin (table wine) and with origin. Wines with origin must have characteristics which are essentially due to its region of production and must be produced, processed and prepared exclusively within that region.
The development of fast and reliable analytical methods for the assessment of claims of origin is very important. Analytical chemists from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands came to help the Italian wine control institute Edmund Mach. The current official method is based on the measurement of stable isotope ratios of water and alcohol in wine, which are influenced by climatic factors.
The researchers evaluated the univariate approach underlying the official method to assess claims of origin and propose several new methods to get better geographical discrimination between samples. They show that multivariate methods are superior than univariate approaches in that they show increased sensitivity and specificity. In cases where data are non-normally distributed, an approach based on mixture modelling provides additional improvements. The results in this paper are based on 5220 Italian wine samples collected in the period 2000-2010.
analytica chimica acta