New research could help winemakers with 'stuck' batches

Sep 12, 2012 by Mickie Anderson

(Phys.org)—Batches of wine that get "stuck" or slowed during the fermentation process pose a big problem for winemakers, costing them time, money and a lot of ruined batches.

But a new study by Chilean researchers and the University of Florida may help change that, by enabling producers to predict which batches are most likely to stall.

The researchers looked at two data analysis methods to see how well each was able to predict within 72 hours whether a batch of wine's was problematic in any way.

The data analysis systems—Multiway Principal Component Analysis, known as MPCA, and Multiway Partial Least Squares, known as MPLS—were tested on 17 wine batches, and measured values of variables such as sugars, density, alcohols, and .

While the MPCA method predicted troublesome batches 67 percent of the time, the MPLS application did so 100 percent of the time, said Art Teixeira, a UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor in food process engineering, and one of the study's authors.

The research team's findings will be reported in this month's issue of the journal Food Control.

"There are some new that my colleagues and I have learned to use, and we wanted to see if these could help detect problematic batches, and help tell us they're going to be problematic within the first 72 hours of setting them up," Teixeira said. "If we can determine that soon enough, then measures can be taken that would save the batch."

Teixeira noted that because one method worked better than the other, that doesn't mean one is superior – just that it's superior to use for this specific application.

"These are simply examples of applying high-level mathematics to analysis of data, such that the analysis helps us find out what are the variables to look at and monitor to know when a batch is going to go bad," he said.

Florida's grape industry, which includes fruit used for , is valued at $20 million.

Once the study is published, Teixeira said, industry scientists will use the results to know which specific variables to test and watch for as they monitor the wine fermentation process.

Explore further: A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First aid for winemakers

Mar 08, 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 ...

Knowing yeast genome produces better wine

Jun 04, 2012

The yeast Dekkera bruxellensis plays an important role in the production of wine, as it can have either a positive or a negative impact on the taste. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, among others, have analyzed the ye ...

Bushfires leave a bad taste for wine lovers

Nov 13, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Australian winemakers are turning to the University of Adelaide to help identify grape varieties that are less susceptible to smoke from summer bushfires.

Recommended for you

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Sep 19, 2014

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

Sep 19, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

User comments : 0