Wine & Cider Analyses

Analytical Packages

We have state-of-the-art analytical equipment and extensive experience in developing new analytical methods. Please contact us if you require analysis that is not listed. Analyses offered for wine, cider, and mead can be found in the following drop down menus.

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Parameter - Method - Price

pH* - Electrochemistry - $7

Brix - Refractometer - $7

Density/Specific Gravity* - Digital Density Meter - $7

Conductivity* -Electrochemistry - $7

Turbidity* - Nephelometer - $7

* = Accredited Test

Classic Package - Wine, Fruit Wine, Cider, Mead

Parameters: Ethanol*, total acidity*, volatile acidity*, total reducing sugar*, free SO2*, total SO2*, pH*, and sorbic acid***

**Sorbic acid upon request

Methods: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis, HPLC

Price: $55

This assay is suitable for wine of all types, cider, and mead.

* = Accredited Test

FOSS Rapid Analysis - All Packages

100% Grape Wine

Must/Whole Grapes




Brix, Potential Alcohol

Glucose+Fructose, Reducing Sugar

Glucose+Fructose, Reducing Sugar



Total Acidity

Total Acidity

Volatile Acidity

Volatile Acidity

Colour - A420, A520, A620, Hue & Intensity


Tartaric, Malic, and Lactic Acid

Tartaric, Malic, and Citric Acid




Method: FOSS WineScan

Price: $11 - wine, must, $22 whole berry grapes (FOSS analysis is excluded from bulk discount pricing)

Note:  For clients wishing to measure SO2 and/or Sorbic Acid

  • Samples requiring SO2 analysis will be run on the Skalar on a next-day basis, as the reagent prep needs to be done 24 hrs in advance. Samples for SO2 can be run Tuesday-Friday as long as we have advance notice to prepare the reagent.  SO2 analysis is $33 per sample.
  • Sorbic Acid will be run by HPLC on a weekly basis at $22/sample.

Grape Ripening Sample Requirements: 

  • 200 grape berries: Take a representative sample from your plot by collecting 200 berries. Please make sure that they are intact. Place them in a clean zipper bag, and label them with identifying information (plot number, grape variety, etc.) and bring or send them to ALAB as soon as possible, ideally on the same day of the sampling.
  • 120 ml grape juice: You can crush your own grapes and bring or send us the juice (you can contact ALAB for free sample bottles). Make sure that the juice is brought to ALAB as soon as possible, ideally on the same day of the crushing. Avoid overnight refrigeration to prevent tartaric acid precipitation. If you are not able to bring the juice on the same day of crushing, we recommend you send us grapes instead (please note that extra charges may apply for whole grapes).

NOTE: In order to avoid overnight sample refrigeration and allow same day processing of the samples ALAB will accept grape and juice samples from 9 am to 3 pm. Wine samples will be accepted from 9 am to 5 pm as usual.




Parameters: Alcohol by volume

Method: Anton Paar Alcolyzer

Price: $28


Parameters: Methanol

Method: GC-FID

Price: $55

Alcohols Profile*

Parameters: Acetaldehyde, Ethyl acetate, Methanol

Method: GC-FID

Price: $83

Higher Alcohols*

Parameters: Acetaldehyde, Ethyl acetate, Methanol, 1-Butanol, 1-Propanol, Isobutanol, Isoamyl alcohol, Ethyl lactate

Method: GC-FID

Price: $193

* = Accredited Test

Acids Analyses

Organic Acid Profile

Parameters: Oxalic, tartaric, malic, lactic, acetic, citric, succinic acids


Price: $50

Single Organic Acid

Parameter: One of the above listed organic acids (e.g. malic, acetic)


Price: $28

Total Acidity*

Parameter: Total acidity

Method: Skalar - Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $28

Volatile Acidity*

Parameter: Volatile acidity

Method: Skalar - Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $28

Sorbic Acid*

Parameter: Sorbic Acid


Price: $22

*= Accredited Test

Sugars Analyses

Sugars Profile*

Parameters: Glycerol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Maltose, and Lactose

Method: HPLC-RI

Price: $44

Note: Not available for Cider Samples

Total Reducing Sugar*

Parameters: Total reducing sugar reported in g/L sucrose

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $28


*= Accredited Test

Sulfur Dioxide

Free SO2 and Total SO2*

Parameters: Free SO2 and Total SO2*

Method: Skalar Segmented Flow Analysis

Price: $33

Note:  Samples requiring SO2 analysis will be run on the Skalar on a next-day basis, as the reagent prep needs to be done 24 hrs in advance. Samples for SO2 can be run Tuesday-Friday as long as we have advance notice to prepare the reagent.

*= Accredited Test

Metals, Cations, and Anions Analyses


Parameters: Arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, and lead

Method: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Price: Panel - $94, single metal - $50

If samples are not to be provided in their final packaging, please use new, clean, plastic containers.

Other metals outside the scope of accreditation may also be tested - please enquire.

*= Accredited Test



Parameters: Sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron

Method: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Price: Panel - $55, single cation - $44


Parameters: Fluoride, chloride, bromide, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, phosphate

Method: Ion Chromatography

Price: Panel - $75, single anion- $40

Ethyl Carbamate

Ethyl Carbamate*

Parameters: Ethyl Carbamate (Urethane)

Method: GC-MS-MS

Price: $143

Ethyl carbamate is a spontaneously forming compound that has been deemed carcinogenic by Health Canada

Please allow a 10 day turn around time for this analysis.

*= Accredited Test


Phenolic and Anthocyanin Analysis

Parameter: Total phenolic content (Gallic Acid Equivalents)

Method: Spectrophotometer, Folin-Ciocalteu assay

Price: $33

Parameter: Total anthocyanin content (Cyanidin-3-Glucoside Equivalents)

Method: Spectrophotometer, pH differential assay

Price: $33


Parameters: The sum of free alpha amino nitrogen and ammonia

Method: Enzymatic kits (Primary Amino Nitrogen + Ammonia + Urea (fermented samples))

Note: Juice/Grape/Must Samples

Price: $33

Calories and Carbohydrates

Parameters: Calories, Carbohydrates, Alcohol by Volume

Note: If sugar values are required, please add total reducing sugar or sugar profile to your analysis request.

Method: AOAC methods

Price: $94

Stability Assays

Cold Stability

Method: Conductivity for 30 minutes after seeding with potassium bitartrate at 0°C for white wines, 4°C for red wines.

Price: $25

Heat Stability

Method: Turbidity before and after 2 hours at 80°C. Minimum 2 business day turnaround time.

Price: $25

Colour Profile

Parameters: Absorbance at 280nm, 420nm, 520nm, and 620nm.  Hue and Intensity as calculated values.

Method: Spectrophotometer

Price: $17

Synthetic Dyes

Synthetic Dyes*

Parameters:  Indigo carmine, tartrazine, allura red, amaranth, sunset yellow, fast green, brilliant blue, erythrosin B

Method: HPLC-UV-Vis

Price: $66

Health Canada permits the above listed synthetic dyes in unstandardized alcoholic beverages (e.g. ready to drink beverages, liqueurs). According to the Food and Drug Regulations, synthetic dyes are not permitted for use in standardized beverage alcohol products.

*=Accredited Test

Liquor Corporation Panels

Sample types: Wine, cider, ready to drink beverages based on wine or cider

Parameters: Alcohol by volume, total reducing sugar, volatile acidity (wine and cider), total SO2, free SO2, sorbic acid, ethyl carbamate, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper (wine), lead, synthetic dyes (RTDs).

Price: $250

Note: To ensure that the Certificate of Analysis (CoA) provided for the Liquor Corporation Panel will be accepted by the jurisdiction/country you want to be listed with, it is your responsibility to check the listing requirements.

Wine Analytes References

Brix: Expresses the percentage of sugar (to be more precise, total soluble solids) in weight. It can be used as one of the parameters to track the maturity level before harvest# and to track the fermentation process in must.

#For grape maturation and must, it is only an approximation of sugar, since before a certain maturity level other compounds such as organic acids, amino acids etc. can interfere with the measurement.

 Conductivity: A measure of the ion conductivity of must/wine. It is used for cold tartaric stability tests.

 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): A measure of all the dissolved solids in must/wine, including all organic and inorganic substances.

 Turbidity: A measure of the clarity of must and wine, in NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units). It is an important parameter to track, in must before fermentation for efficient yeast activity, and in wine for filtration practices and before bottling.

 Density: The mass of the must/wine divided by its volume.

 Glucose + Fructose: A measure of the total amount of the principal sugars in grapes - glucose and fructose. It is an important parameter to measure fermentable sugars in must and residual sugars in wine.

 Total reducing sugar: A measure of the amount of fermentable sugar, primarily glucose and fructose, but also other sugars which are capable of reducing other compounds; such as galactose, maltose, lactose etc.

 Glycerol: The amount of the most prominent wine polyol, glycerol. In wine, glycerol has important sensory effects, while the amount in grapes depends on their variety, maturity and health condition.

 Potassium: The amount of potassium in must/wine, which is an important parameter for grape ripening, for must and for the stability of finished wine.

 Total dry extract: All matter that is non-volatile under specified physical conditions, including non-volatile organic substances and mineral compounds in must and wine.

 Colour: The measurement of optic density is used to determine the colour of the wine and the concentration of total phenolic compounds.

  • Wine colour intensity is calculated from the sum of the optic densities in wavelengths of 420 nm (yellow/brown colour), 520 nm (red colour) and 620 nm (blue colour), while colour hue (shade) is calculated from the ratio of optic densities in wavelengths of 420 nm to 520 nm.
  • Concentration of total phenolic compounds is expressed with optic density in wavelength of 280 nm.
  • In white wines, the optic density in wavelength of 420 nm can be used to determine the browning.

 Folin-C Index: An index which is used for total phenolic content determination and is traditionally obtained by oxidizing all phenolic compounds contained in wine by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent.

 CO2: The amount of dissolved CO2 in wine.

 pH: A measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in must or wine. It is an important parameter for all the steps of “wine growing”: grape maturation, must, fermentation and aging.

 Total acidity: A measure of all types of acids, including volatile and fixed acids in must/wine. It takes into account inorganic acids, such as phosphoric acid; organic acids, such as tartaric acid, malic acid, citric acid etc., as well as amino acids.

Total acidity (pH 7.0): Uses the end point of pH 7.0, expressed in terms of sulphuric acid.

Total acidity (pH 8.2): Uses the end point of pH 8.2, expressed in terms of tartaric acid.

Tartaric acid: The main organic acid specific to grapes. It is an important parameter for grape maturity along with malic acid, as well as stability and organoleptic characteristics of wine.

 Malic acid: One of the major acids present in grapes, along with tartaric acid. It is one of the parameters used to track maturity of the grapes before harvest, and in wine for decisions of malolactic fermentation process.

 Lactic acid: An acid which is produced by yeast cells during fermentation or metabolic activity of bacteria. It has an important organoleptic effect in wine.

 Sorbic acid: Used as an antimicrobial agent in wine. There is a legal limit of sorbic acid in wine in Canada.

 Volatile acidity: A measure of all of the volatile fatty acids, which is mainly acetic acid. Acetic acid is produced during fermentation by yeast and in case of bacterial spoilage.

 Gluconic acid: An acid which is used to identify must or wine made of grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea. 

 Free Sulfur Dioxide (Free SO2): A measure of the free form of SO2 in must or wine. There is a legal limit of free SO2 in wine in Canada, as well as many other countries.

 Total Sulfur Dioxide (Free SO2):  A measure of all forms of SO2 in must or wine; free SO2, plus the amount of SO2 that is bound. There is a legal limit of total SO2 in wine in Canada, as well as many other countries.

 Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN): The sum of free alpha amino nitrogen and ammonia measured by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) by FOSS. It is an important parameter to measure for efficiency of fermentation process.

 Alpha amino nitrogen: The amount of nitrogen present in all free amino acids except the proline which is not assimilated by the yeast. It is one of the compounds of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), together with ammonia.

 Ammonia: One of the inorganic forms of nitrogenous compounds, most directly assimilable by yeasts. It is one of the compounds of yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN), together with alpha amino nitrogen.