IVAS 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 IVAS 9 IVAS 2022 9 High density balsamic vinegar: application of stable isotope ratio analysis to determine watering down.

High density balsamic vinegar: application of stable isotope ratio analysis to determine watering down.


Aceto balsamico di Modena IGP (ABM) is an Italian worldwide appreciated PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) vinegar,  obtained from cooked and/or concentrated grape must (at least 20% of the volume), with the addition of at least 10% of wine vinegar and a maximum 2% of caramel for color stability (EU Reg. 583/ 2009). The geographical origin of ABM ingredients is never specified.
Since 2013, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has issued a method for determining the water fraudulently added to the vinegar and the balsamic vinegar product (EN16466-3 18O-IRMS). The method is based on the stable isotope ratios analysis of the bulk AMB sample (expressed as δ18O in ‰ with respect to the international standard V-SMOW2).
Balsamic vinegars with very high density (higher than 1.37 g / mL of sugar) are available on the market. They are obtained by adding a high amount of concentrated must or by a long aging of the product in the barrel, which leads to an intense evaporation and concentration.
Products with such high density cannot be analyzed by using the official method as reported in the EN16466-3 18O-IRMS. Indeed, in this conditions, the equilibration between CO2 and the water in the sample, being the base principle of the process, does not occur.
In this work, the official method has been modified and validated, calculating repeatability (r) and reproducibility (R), by proceeding with a prior dilution of the sample and by applying a correction to the data in order to eliminate the diluent isotopic contribution. Considering the limit value of δ18O for a non-watered product reported in the literature for vinegar and for rectified concentrated must [1-2], the threshold limit of δ18O below which the ABM product can be considered as adulterated was identified.


[1] J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 32, 8197–8203
[2] Food Control 2013, 29(1), 107–111


Publication date: June 24, 2022

Issue: IVAS 2022

Type: Poster


Perini Matteo1, Pianezze Silvia1 and Paolini Mauro


Contact the author


stable isotope analysis, balsamic vinegar, high density, watering down


IVAS 2022 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.