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China cracks down on counterfeit imported wine

China cracks down on counterfeit imported wine article image

In an ongoing effort to reduce the number of counterfeit wines in Mainland China, Shenzhen’s quarantine authority has taken action to combat fraudsters.

They have recently introduced a new system, which they claim can identify a wine’s origin by examining its chemical make-up.

By analysing more than 1,000 wine samples from seven major wine producing countries, the new examination system can identify the geographic origin of imported wines with “90% accuracy” within a minimum of three days.

The Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau in Guangdong province, Southern China says the new technology is based on the analysis of stable isotopes and mineral elements in wine.

Such properties “differ significantly” according to geography, climate and altitude, the Bureau says.

The Bureau says the system is the first of its kind in China.

Chemical analysis tools are now widely used to authenticate food and drink products in many countries worldwide.

Consumer protection

But this new system has been specifically designed to protect Chinese consumers from being duped into buying counterfeit wines.

A Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Alcoholic Beverage Examination Centre is currently being built in the Qianhai Shekou free trade area (FTA).

The FTA is part of the recently established Guangdong free trade zone (FTZ).

The geographic origin identification system is set to be implemented in the centre to “further enhance the traceability” of imported wines bypassing the Shenzhen port.

Consumers are expected to be able to view the origin information online in the future, officials said.

Customs figures show 76 million litres of imported wines entered Guangdong province last year, making it the second biggest destination of imported wines in China, behind Shanghai.

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