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LGC helps uphold the authenticity of high-end whisky brands

Date:06 January 2012

As Burns Night approaches, so does the age old question of which whisky best accompanies haggis. Whilst the whisky connoisseurs may choose to deliberate on this question endlessly, you may simply want to be assured that your chosen whisky brand is authentic.

Bootlegging, adulteration, counterfeiting ? call it what you will, but according to Her Majesty?s Revenue Commission, revenue lost due to the production of fake spirit alcohol between 2009 and 2010 cost the UK taxpayer approximately £440 million*. In support of the global whisky manufacturing industry, LGC, the UK?s designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement, has produced a reference material to help identify adulterated high-end whiskies.

Adulteration is a major problem for the global drinks industry and, in order to keep control of this issue and accurately identify adulteration when it occurs, alcohol manufacturers monitor marker substances in their products. It is these marker substances which can be profiled to prove authenticity. Congeners - volatile organic compounds formed during the whisky fermentation process - are used as marker substances to help distinguish and differentiate between brands. They also dictate the unique flavour of whisky brands.

LGC has produced the reference material specifically for whisky congeners to help manufacturers uphold the protection of their brand, ensure process and quality control, and enhance research and development.

Gill Holcombe, Head of Reference Material Production at LGC explains: ?For manufacturers of high-end spirits to be confident in the quality of their analysis, they need to be able to validate and monitor procedures using reference materials close in matrix composition to the test samples. This whisky congener reference material does just that, and is yet another weapon in the arsenal against alcohol adulteration.?

This reference material, LGC5100, is available from LGC Standards (www.lgcstandards.com) the division of LGC that provides products and services to improve measurement in the laboratory. For further information about this new whisky congener reference material, or to place an order please visit the LGC Standards webshop (www.lgcstandards.com), contact your local LGC Standards sales office or email: askus@lgcstandards.com

* Measuring Tax Gaps 2011 (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/mtg-tables2011.xls)

- Ends -

Notes to editors

About LGC

LGC (www.lgcgroup.com) is an international science-based company and market leader in analytical, forensic, biotechnology and diagnostic services, as well as diagnostic products, proficiency testing and reference standards. LGC operates in a variety of markets which underpin the safety, health and security of the public and the regulation of industry, for both public and private sector clients.

LGC operates internationally through four divisions - LGC Forensics, LGC Genomics, LGC Standards and LGC Science & Technology. The latter includes specialist laboratories delivering contracts for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and supports LGC's designated role as the UK's National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement.

Our operations are extensively accredited to international quality standards such as ISO/IEC 17025. With headquarters in Teddington, South West London, the LGC Group employs ca 1,460 staff in 35 laboratories and centres globally. Privatised in 1996 and now majority-owned by funds managed by Bridgepoint, LGC was founded almost 170 years ago as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist - a statutory function maintained by LGC today.

For further information contact:

Gavin Dallas

Communications / Press Officer

LGC, Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LY, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 8943 7000

Fax: +44 (0)20 8943 2767

Direct Line: +44 (0)20 8943 8491

Email: gavin.dallas@lgcgroup.com

Web: www.lgcgroup.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LGCGroup

Blog: www.blog.lgcgroup.com

LGC - setting standards in analytical science

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