Test Wine Using Your Phone

Australia’s wineries are about to find testing wine a little easier. La Trobe University is investing $205,000 AUD in a project that turns smartphones into portable testing devices for sulphur dioxide in wine.  The technology is called ElecTrobe and uses a method the inventors are calling android voltammetry. Wires are plugged into the phone’s headphone jack, tapping into the phone’s microphone. The wires are then attached to an electrochemical test strip. Power from the phone allows the tester to detect sulphur dioxide in a very similar way to how blood sugar is tested.  “Testing for sulphur dioxide is a critical part of winemaking, but current methods are painfully slow, inaccurate or can be unreliable,” said Charles Sturt University centre director Professor Leigh Schmidtke. “Winemakers add it to wine to limit oxidation reactions and control growth of unwanted bacteria, mould and yeasts, but too much may inhibit or even prevent fermentation and cause undesirable flavours and aromas.” Australia’s 2,500 wineries are expected to celebrate the news of the invention.