Researchers Develop AI-Based Wine Fraud Detection Tool

The concentrations of compounds in wines are influenced by the grapes and soil of a specific location.

Researchers Develop AI-Based Wine Fraud Detection Tool

AI analyses wine compounds and traces their origins to specific estates accurately.

Artificial intelligence may soon intensify scrutiny of wine fraudsters who deceive consumers by presenting low-quality wine as premium. Scientists have created an AI tool capable of tracing wine origins through meticulous chemical analyses. Utilising machine learning, researchers trained the AI to identify minute variations in the concentrations of various compounds present in different wines. This enables the AI to not only pinpoint the specific vine-growing region where the grapes were cultivated but also the exact estate where the wine was produced.

Professor Alexandre Pouget of the University of Geneva in Switzerland told The Guardian that "there's a lot of wine fraud around with people making up some crap in their garage, printing off labels, and selling it for thousands of dollars. We show for the first time that we have enough sensitivity with our chemical techniques to tell the difference."

According to The Guardian, to train the program, the scientists turned to gas chromatography, which had been used to analyse 80 wines harvested over 12 years from seven different estates in the Bordeaux region of France. The technique is commonly used in laboratories to separate and identify the compounds that make up a mixture.

Rather than trying to find individual compounds that distinguish one wine from another, the algorithm draws on all of the chemicals detected in the wine to work out the most reliable signature for each. The program displays its results on a two-dimensional grid, where wines with similar signatures group together.

"The first thing we saw that jumped straight out at us was that there are clusters that correspond to specific chateaux. That told us right away that there is a chemical signature specific to each chateaux, independent of vintage," Professor Pouget said.

"It's the overall pattern of concentrations of many, many molecules that distinguishes a chateaux. Each is a symphony; there isn't a single note that distinguishes them; it's the whole melody."