Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Headache detector

University of California, Berkeley chemists working with NASA-funded technology designed to find life on Mars have created a device they say can easily detect chemicals. One use of this technology is to measure a particular chemical, called biogenic amines, which occurs naturally in a wide variety of aged, pickled and fermented foods prized by gourmet palates, including wine, chocolate, cheese, olives, nuts and cured meats.

Researchers found the highest amine levels occur in red wine and sake and the lowest in beer. It has been suggested that this device could be used to put amine levels on wine labels. "We're aware of the consumer demand for information. But that has to be tempered by the manner in which wine is made," said Wendell Lee, general counsel for the Wine Institute, a California industry trade group.

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