Canada test can sniff out fake Cuban cigars
TORONTO (EFE) -- A team of Canadian customs service
researchers has invented a technique to detect fake Cuban
cigars, hoping to reduce the number of counterfeit Havanas
entering the country.
A simple test can detect the chemical characteristics
unique to tobacco leaves processed in Cuba that distinguish
them from plants cultivated outside the island.
Researchers used an instrument similar to one used to
detect banned substances in the urine of athletes to isolate
certain acids found in tobacco leaves. It compares the
acidity of the suspect cigars with the certified acidity of
tobacco leaves grown in Cuba.
The procedure also allows customs inspectors to detect
cigars hidden inside other products.
In 2000, Canadian inspectors sent some 1,400 boxes of
suspect cigars to customs service labs to determine
whether or not they were authentic Cuban cigars.