Application of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) in combination with Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) for rapid analysis of the tequila production process

  • P.M. Mondragón-Cortez Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.
  • E.J. Herrera-López Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.
  • E. Arriola-Guevara Universidad de Guadalajara
  • G.M. Guatemala-Morales Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.
Keywords: Tequila, FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, agave juice, characterization process, stage of aging


The manufacturing process of tequila made of Agave tequilana Weber var. azul consists of several important process stages such as milling, cooking, fermentation, distillation, and aging. The purpose of this contribution was to characterize five of the most important stages of the tequila production process in a pilot plant by using FTIR-ATR spectroscopy. The results showed that FTIR-ATR spectra of raw juices in the range 4000 and 700 cm-1, were mostly composed of absorption peaks associated with water and fructose. The spectra of cooked juices showed the thermal hydrolysis of the fructans to fructose in the interval between 1200 and 800 cm-1. The FTIR-ATR spectra of the samples fermented showed a gradual sequence transforming fructose peaks to ethanol peaks during the interval time from 0 to 48 h at 35°C. The spectra obtained from the distillation showed that the intensity of the peaks was a function of the concentration of ethanol in the product distillates. The evolution of the aging of the “tequila blanco” in an oak barrel was monitored for 60 days. The results showed that the region between 1300 and 900 cm-1 of the FTIR-ATR spectra was associated with the aging process in the oak barrel.

Author Biographies

P.M. Mondragón-Cortez, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.

Senior Researcher, Level I at the S.N.I., 13 years of experience at CIATEJ in technological services and directed research projects, supervision of undergraduate and master's theses. Development of analytical methods for the detection of molecules with bio-functional interest.

E.J. Herrera-López, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.

Researcher at CIATEJ since 1997 and currently serves as Titular C researcher. He has directed various research projects related to the design of sensors and strategies to monitor metabolites of biotechnological interest and that are difficult to determine in real time. The use of mathematical and engineering tools has allowed it to collaborate with other divisions such as Environmental Technology, Food Technology, as well as Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.




E. Arriola-Guevara, Universidad de Guadalajara

Enrique Arriola-Guevara, Professor; National Researcher-I, awarded as university professor with a desirable profile since 1999. Ph.D., ChE Oregon State University (OSU); M.S., ChE (OSU); B.S., ChE. Universidad de Guanajuato, México.

He has long experience in different academic positions at several mexican universities, including 3 years Instructor at Oregon State University. His non-academic positions include Production Engineer in a Sulfuric Acid Plant, Construction manager and Lab Head in a Chemical Engineering Lab Construction Program, and Consultant to numerous firms, agencies and individuals. His Fields of Specialization are Fluidization Engineering, Transport Phenomena, Thermodynamics, and Food Engineering, developing a novel multi-stage spouted bed system (co-owner of two patents). Adviser for 60 bachelor projects, 15 master’s y 4 PhD’s. Local Chairman of the Mexican Institute of Chemical Engineers (2006), Reviewer for “Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química” (Journal of Mexican Chemical Engineering) and “Journal of Food Science and Technology”. His publications include 3 books, 4 chapters, more than 30 papers in Refereed Technical Journals, 2 Technical supervisions to the Spanish version of well known ChE books (Chemical Reaction Engineering by O.Levenspiel, and Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes by R.M. Felder and R.W. Rousseau), and about 70 national and international Conference Proceedings published. Finally, he had received several Professional Recognitions, including local and federal awards as Lecturer and Researcher.

G.M. Guatemala-Morales, Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco, A.C.

Guadalupe M. Guatemala-Morales, Food Science and Technology Researcher, (National Researcher-I); PhD (2007) and MS (2003) in Chemical Engineering (University of Guadalajara). Co-inventor on 5 patents; National Honorable Mention in the National Science and Technology Award (2007); twice a finalist for the State Prize same category (2007 and 2012); she has published 25 scientific papers; she has been leader in research projects; and, adviser for 10 bachelor projects, 10 master’s and 7 PhD’s. Her nonacademic experience includes: new product development chemistry (CIBA GEIGY-1990). Active member of the Academy of Research and Teaching in Chemical Engineering (since 2002 AMIDIQ).

Her experience is in three lines of research: development of food products and processes; industrial application of multistage spouted bed systems; and, finally, in the application of engineering and modeling to biotechnological processes.


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How to Cite
Mondragón-Cortez, P., Herrera-López, E., Arriola-Guevara, E., & Guatemala-Morales, G. (2022). Application of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) in combination with Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) for rapid analysis of the tequila production process. Revista Mexicana De Ingeniería Química, 21(3), Alim2806.
Food Engineering

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