Have you ever been itching to carry a bottle of Petrus and a can of Red Bull on a plane? Thanks to researchers at UC Davis, that might be possible. (However, as we discussed previously, don’t think you’ll be allowed to openly serve yourself the Petrus on board.)
The researchers may be able to take scanners they developed to study spoilage in unopened bottles of wine and use that technology to differentiate between explosives and toothpaste and bottles of water in travelers carry-ons. In the above video, found via the good folks at Upgrade: Travel Better, they demonstrate their scanning device with a bottle of ’79 Petrus and a can of Red Bull (hopefully not mixed together afterward!).
In its wine application, the device was originally built to test for oxidation through the presence of acetic acid and acetaldehyde, according to Augustine’s page. There’s certainly a market for that, but it has to be small compared to the market for testing an unopened bottle for TCA (often referred to as cork taint). After Augustine is done counting his millions from solving the security problems of the TSA, maybe he could turn his research to detecting TCA, which would be a boon for wineries and wine enthusiasts alike.