Material capable of determining copper in must samples

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Researchers from the University of Burgos have developed a polymer that is capable of interacting with copper. In this context, it has been verified that, using this material, the concentration of copper in must samples can be determined quickly and easily.


Details of the Technology Offer

New and innovative aspects

Europe, led by Italy, France and Spain, is the world's largest producer and exporter of wine. This is due, in part, to the high quality of the final product and the high number of controls that are carried out. Among the latter, the measurements of pH, colour, biomolecules and metals stand out. Within this group is copper, and although it occurs in small quantities, this element is essential for proper fermentation of the must to take place. In this context, researchers from the University of Burgos have developed a polymeric material that is capable of interacting with copper and, through a simple photograph, provide both quickly easily the concentration of this metal.
It is important to control the levels of this element throughout the fermentation of the wine to avoid/detect the "cupric bankruptcy" that causes a decrease in the quality and safety of the wine for consumers.

Main advantages of its use

The reference method to determine the concentration of copper in wine and must samples is Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy or Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Compared to these methods, the developed material has a number of advantages:
- The polymer, when interacting with copper, generates a colour change and the concentration value can be quantified by means of a photograph. This makes this method simple and does not require highly specialized personnel to carry out the measurement.
- The only necessary equipment is a smartphone to take the picture, while the equipment for reference techniques is extraordinarily expensive.


The polymer was prepared by radical reaction starting from the previously functionalized monomer. The material was synthesized in the form of a film, and it was verified that it generates a colorimetric response in the presence of copper (I).
Tests carried out in the laboratory allowed us to determine that the detection limit is 0.08 ppm. The measurement procedure is as follows:
- The film is introduced into the sample together with pH 5 buffer.
- After 12 hours, the film is removed and washed with water.
- A photograph is taken together with a colour chart and, through the mobile application registered by this same Colorimetric Titration group, the corresponding concentration value is obtained.


The measurement material and method have proven to be suitable for determining copper levels in wine musts. The measurement is faster, cheaper and does not require specialized equipment.

Intellectual property status

Protected by a patent P202231015

Current development status

Research or Experimental

Desired business relationship

Trade Agreement, License Agreement, Technical cooperation: further development, Technical Cooperation: testing of new applications; Technical Cooperation: adaptation to specific needs.

Intellectual property status

Related Keywords

  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Sustainability
  • Consumer related
  • Food and Beverages
  • Wine and liquors
  • Industrial Products
  • wine industry
  • must
  • copper detection
  • sensory polymers
  • cupric bankruptcy


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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