Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 249–259 | Cite as

Determination of Ethanol in Beers Using a Flatbed Scanner and Automated Digital Image Analysis

  • Luana Curbani
  • Jane Mary Lafayette Neves Gelinski
  • Endler Marcel BorgesEmail author


A new, simple, and low-cost method is proposed to determine ethanol content in beer samples. The method is economical and environmentally friendly because it uses low-cost materials based on natural indicators and generates only 200 μL of waste per test. The method is based in the reaction of ethanol with potassium dichromate in acid media generating Cr3+; 100 μL of K2Cr2O7 0.2 mol L−1 in sulfuric acid 20%, v/v was placed in wells of a 96-micro-well plate, then, 50 μL of samples or standards were placed in each well, after 1 h incubation at 60 °C, a digital image of the plate was obtained using a flatbed scanner, and RGB values were extracted automatically from all wells in less than 5 min using ImageJ’s plugin “ReadPlate.” The standard calibration plot was linear for an ethanol content ranging from 0.4 to 2%, with limits of detection and quantification of 0.09% and 0.27%, respectively. Ethanol content determined in beer samples with proposed method agree with those obtained with the microplate reader and with those claimed in labels. Thus, this method can be especially advantageous for countries were available resources for analytical equipment investments are scant.


Beer Ethanol content Quality control ImageJ RGB 


Funding Information

The authors acknowledge financial support and fellowships from the Brazilian agencies FAPESC (Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Santa Catarina), CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) Project number 402226/2016-0, and CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Endler M Borges declares that he has no conflict of interest. Luana Curbani declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jane M.L.N. Gelinski declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Informed Consent

Publication has been approved by all individual participants.

Supplementary material

12161_2019_1611_MOESM1_ESM.xlsm (41 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSM 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Regional de Blumenau, FURBBlumenauBrazil
  2. 2.Núcleo BiotecnológicoUniversidade do Oeste de Santa Catarina, UNOESCVideiraBrazil

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