Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anuga FoodTec 2012: First aid for winemakers

01.03.2012
Whether or not a wine turns out to be as outstanding as the winemaker hopes depends on the quality of the yeasts; they control the fermentation process and create the distinctive flavor. A new sensor allows winemakers to establish whether the grape must contains the right sort of microorganisms before fermentation has even begun.

A good wine is unmistakable. It has its own particular taste, its own characteristic and singular aroma. None of this happens by accident: the production of quality wines is an art form in its own right. The vintner has to plant the right variety of grape, harvest and press it at just the right moment and store the grape juice properly for fermentation.

“Even if you get everything right in the preparations, there’s still an element of risk,” explains Dr. Mark Bücking of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME. It is not just location, type of grape and degree of ripeness that give a wine ‘that special something’; the yeasts that are active during the fermentation process are just as important.

These yeasts are microorganisms that occur naturally in areas where wine is produced. Each vineyard has a characteristic yeast population of its very own, and it is this that lends the wine its own distinctive flavor. Only those winemakers who use these wild yeasts for spontaneous fermentation are in with a chance of producing a truly top-class wine that will garner the praise and approval of connoisseurs.

Spontaneous fermentation is not without its risks, though, since not all wild yeasts have a positive effect on the development of a wine. There are some “bad guys” that can generate unpleasant flavors or even impede the fermentation process. Ex-perienced winemakers always keep a very close eye on the process so that they can add cultured yeasts if necessary.

“Supplementing the wine in such a way has a detrimental effect on its quality, however, and the resulting wine is destined for mediocrity,” says Bücking. The research scientist is not only a wine lover and connoisseur, but also an analytical specialist. He and his team have developed a prototype piece of equipment that winemakers can use to check whether the yeasts present in their wine must are indeed the right ones. The experts will be presenting their work at the Anuga FoodTec trade fair in Cologne from March 27 to 30, 2012.

The detector is no bigger than a cell phone, and fits into any trouser pocket. It contains ten little Plexiglas tubes, each coated with antibodies. The winemaker takes a pipette and fills the tubes with wine must, upon which any yeast that encounters a matching antibody on the walls of the tubes sticks to the sides. The ensuing biochemical reaction produces an easily recognizable color change: the little tube turns blue. “We can already detect half a dozen different types of yeast in a short space of time just using this prototype,” explains Bücking. “Depending on what the winemaker wants, it’s possible to analyze the ‘good’, sought-after yeasts or the ‘bad’, undesirable ones. The technology is very flexible; all you have to do is make the antibodies.”

Apart from identifying “bad guys”, the analytical technology can also be used to detect fungi, bacteria and viruses that cause diseases in plants, for example. Until now it was only big labs that could carry out such microbiological analyses. Sending them the samples and having to wait for these to be analyzed cost a lot of time. As Mark Bücking states: “Everything’s much quicker with the new antibody testing kit. It’s possible to carry out the test in situ and so save precious time.”

Dr. Mark Bücking | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/march/first-aid-for-winemakers.html

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht “Laser Technology Live” at the AKL’18 International Laser Technology Congress in Aachen
23.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Empa shows "Gas station of the future"
23.02.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Keen Sense for Molecules

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

“Laser Technology Live” at the AKL’18 International Laser Technology Congress in Aachen

23.02.2018 | Trade Fair News

Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen

23.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>