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FRANCE: DNA test to verify wine authenticity

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French scientists have announced they have developed a DNA test which can tell whether a top wine is what it claims to be or has been blended with a cheaper wine. By analysing the DNA of the grapes used, scientists at the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) say they can build a genetic picture of a wine.

"There are about 45 different varieties (of grape) that are used in France. We can identify all of them," said INRA scientist Patrice This. "It is mainly the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes that are used in Bordeaux. We should be able to tell if a wine contains a different grape."

INRA scientists say they can analyse wines made from a single grape or a blend of two grapes and say they will soon be able to distinguish blends of more than two varieties. The INRA is collaborating with anti-fraud officials in the development of the test.


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