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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Use of Fining Techniques and Alternative Processing Strategies to Limit Brettanomyces Infections in Red Wines

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21000-047-14-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Sep 9, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

The proposed research area addresses the high priority issues of “Incidence and control of Brettanomyces, Pediococcus and Lactobacillus” and “Yeast nutrient status of PNW wines.” 1. Nutritional requirements of Brettanomyces. a. Determine the yeast needs for selected vitamins, initially focusing on biotin. 2. Evaluate processing strategies to limit infections. a. Use of egg whites and specific protein fractions (i.e., avidin) to remove biotin, an important yeast vitamin, from wine. b. Ascertain the impact of turbidity (insoluble material) on yeast growth.

Perhaps the best method to minimize infections would be implementation of so-called “hurdle technology” methods. Commonly applied in the food industry, the concept is to put in place as many “hurdles” as feasibly possible to prevent infections and spoilage. To help limit Brettanomyces infections, a good hurdle program would not only include frequent monitoring with additions of SO2 but also implementation of (a) sanitation programs; (b) maintaining low cellar temperatures (<15°C); and (c) use of other antimicrobials such as Velcorin. However, a large advantage in applying this technology is that many times the sum effects of two or more hurdles are greater than the impact of an individual step. Amendment #3 adds funds to continue the current research objectives and will be used to inoculate wines with B. bruxellensis, analyze chemical properties and complete statistical analysis of results.

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
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