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Food Chem. 2013 Dec 1;141(3):2103-7. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.04.112. Epub 2013 May 16.

Authenticity of carbon dioxide bubbles in French ciders through multiflow-isotope ratio mass spectrometry measurements.

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  • 1Service Commun des Laboratoires, 3 Avenue du Dr A. Schweitzer, 33608 Pessac, France.


A procedure to detect whether carbon dioxide was added to French ciders has been developed. For this purpose, an optimised and simplified method is proposed to determine (13)C/(12)C isotope ratio of carbon dioxide (δ(13)C) in ciders. Three critical steps were checked: (1) influence of atmospheric CO2 remaining in the loaded vial, (2) impact of helium flush, (3) sampling speed. This study showed that atmospheric CO2 does not impact the measurement, that helium flush can lead to isotopic fractionation and finally, that a fractionation occurs only 5h after bottle opening. The method, without any other preparation, consists in sampling 0.2 mL of cold (4 °C) cider in a vial that is passed in an ultrasonic bath for 10 min at room temperature to enhance cider de-carbonation. The headspace CO2 is then analysed using the link Multiflow®-isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Each year, a data bank is developed by fermenting authentic apples juices in order to control cider authenticity. Over a four year span (2008-2011), the CO2 produced during the fermentation step was studied. This set of 61 authentic ciders, from various French production areas, was used to determine a δ(13)C value range of -22.59±0.92‰ for authentic ciders CO2 bubbles. 75 commercial ciders were analysed with this method. Most of the samples analysed present a gas δ(13)C value in the expected range. Nevertheless, some ciders have δ(13)C values outside the 3σ limit, revealing carbonation by technical CO2. This practice is not allowed for organic, "Controlled Appellation of Origin" ciders and ciders specifying natural carbonation on the label.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Authentication; Carbon dioxide; Cider; Databank; Multiflow-IRMS; Stable isotope; δ(13)C

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