Cadiot Distillation for the Analysis of Wine

A Cadiot Distillation Column is also known as a Spinning Band distillation column.

One application of Cadiot distillation is the detection of tampering in the production of wine. 

Wine grapes on the vine

The isotopic ratios of hydrogen and oxygen atoms in ethanol indicates if watering and illegal addition of sugars has happened to wines, fruit juices and other foodstuffs. This is because different regions have signature ratios of these isotopes from the groundwater.

Cadiot distillation is used to concentrate the ethanol portion of the wine samples.  The concentrated ethanol undergoes isotopic analysis by NMR or Mass Spectrometry.  The ratios give strong indications of tampering.

Heavy water molecules
Different isotope combinations of water.

Spinning band distillation is an ideal technique for concentrating the alcohol portion of wine because it is highly efficient and has a very low hold up.  Mini spinning band (model 36-100) covers the range of 100 to 1000 ml boiling flask size. 

A line drawing of a Spinning band system.

The distillation process is highly automated. Alcohol is alternatively collected and then equilibrated, gradually squeezing out the ever-decreasing alcohol in the boiling flask. Minimal operator attention is required through the process.

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