Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Champagne and bubbles: Smaller is better

16.12.2003


As New Year’s Eve approaches and you prepare to pop open that champagne bottle, keep your fingers crossed for small bubbles ... and lots of them.



That long train of tiny, rising bubbles is the key to the drink’s flavor and aroma, scientists say. And the smaller the bubbles, the better, according to the people who should know, researchers in the Champagne region of France, home to the famous vineyards that gave birth to the bubbly wine.

"Our ultimate goal is to create smaller bubbles in champagne wines," says Gérard Liger-Belair, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, whose study on the subject will be published this week in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.


The reason smaller bubbles make better champagne is basically because there are more bubbles available to release the flavor and aroma.

The little bubbles pick up flavor and aroma molecules during their celebrated ascent, pulling them along until the bubbles literally explode onto the surface of the liquid, creating the sensory fireworks that are generally associated with a good tasting, refreshing champagne.

The scientific explanation of why smaller bubbles make better champagne gets a bit more involved. As Liger-Belair says, "We must first understand each and every parameter that could control bubble growth."

Crafting a better champagne bubble is no easy task. It involves a complex interplay of physics and chemistry to help create that bubble "magic," says the researcher, who is also a consultant with Möet & Chandon, a leading champagne manufacturer.

An excessive amount of carbon dioxide is the main factor responsible for bubble growth in carbonated beverages, whether produced naturally via fermentation or added artificially. But other factors also play a role in bubble formation, including the degree of diffusion of carbon dioxide within the liquid.

In order to test the extent to which diffusion influences bubble formation, Liger-Belair measured carbon dioxide concentrations inside equal quantities of five different beverages: champagne, sparkling wine, beer, soda and carbonated water. To his surprise, he found that even though champagne and its close relative, sparkling wine, had about the same diffusion measurement for carbon dioxide, their bubble sizes were significantly different.

Liger-Belair’s conclusion: Contrary to expectations, the diffusion of the carbon dioxide was not the main factor determining bubble size in champagne, although it did play a major role in the formation of bubbles in the other beverages he examined.

Based on his study, Liger-Belair says that other chemical components that are dispersed throughout champagne, including dissolved salts, carbohydrates, and minerals, play a bigger role than previously believed in the formation of its uniquely small bubbles.

The researcher hopes to use this finding, combined with future studies, to develop a more comprehensive computer model of the factors that determine champagne bubble formation in order to create the perfect little bubble.

No doubt, Don Ho would approve.


Funding for this study was provided by the Europol’Agro Institute and the Association Recherche Oenologie Champagne Universite.

Allison Byrum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>