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We demonstrate the potential of Raman spectroscopy to detect cocaine concealed inside transparent glass bottles containing alcoholic beverages. A clear Raman signature of cocaine with good signal-to-noise was obtained from a approximately 300 g solution of adulterated cocaine (purity 75%) in a 0.7 L authentic brown bottle of rum with 1 s acquisition time. The detection limit was estimated to be of the order of 9 g of pure cocaine per 0.7 L (approximately 0.04 moles L(-1)) with 1 s acquisition time. The technique holds great promise for the fast, non-invasive, detection of concealed illicit compounds inside beverages using portable Raman instruments, thus permitting drug trafficking to be combated more effectively.

Original publication





Analytica chimica acta

Publication Date





50 - 53


Central Laser Facility, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, United Kingdom.


Ethanol, Cocaine, Spectrum Analysis, Raman, Substance Abuse Detection, Alcoholic Beverages, Illicit Drugs