Inactive yeast to preserve the aroma of young wines

May 12, 2014
Inactive yeast to preserve the aroma of young wines

Researchers at UPM in collaboration with CSIC have proved that the usage of inactive yeast preparations rich in glutathione can preserve the aroma of young wines during their storage.

This new technique could be a more sustainable alternative than the traditional usage of sulfites to preserve the aroma of young wines during their storage. This statement is the result of a researcher group, from the School of Agricultural Engineers of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, in collaboration with the Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL- CSIC), who found that the usage of natural additives based on inactive yeasts and rich in glutathione can reduce the oxidation process that is produced by the aroma loss of young wines.

The fresh, fruity and floral aroma of young wines (white and rosé) can quickly disappear during their storage because of the oxidation process. Additionally, young wines can change their color due to the formation of polymers producing orange and brown color tones. Apart from the loss of pleasant aromas, this process can produce unpleasant aromas similar to some aged wines.

From a technological point of view, an interesting solution to minimize this problem could be the usage of antioxidant compounds that delay the appearance of these types of reaction from deterioration. However, the most widespread oenological practice, the usage of chemical antioxidants (sulfites), can provoke adverse effects in some consumers sensitive to this compound. This is the reason why there is a tendency to reduce its usage in winemaking.

The usage of oenological additives is based on inactive yeast, which means non-viable yeasts and without fermentative capacity. This represents an interesting natural alternative that is currently having a great reception from all winemakers. However, the technological aptitude to preserve the aroma of young wines with this technique has not been proved so far.

Researchers from CIAL and UPM have conducted a research in collaboration with a winery of Navarra (Spain). There, researchers studied the effect of inactive yeast preparations rich in glutathione in the aroma of rosé wine of the Garnacha variety. Also, they studied the same wine elaborated with the traditional process.

This research had a UPM panel of twelve judges. They all were trained by the researchers of this study who conducted such study on the recognition of odors and flavors and the usage of intensity scales. These judges underwent a training evaluation. During the period of this research, the judges conducted sensorial tests. This consisted of triangular tests that determine sensorial differences between the treated and the controlled wine during the lifetime of the wine (1, 2, 3 and 9 months). The wines were sensorially similar until the ninth month of storage.

In order to evaluate qualitative and quantitative differences, the specialized judges conducted a descriptive sensorial analysis where they assessed and scored the intensity of some of the most characteristic flavors of these wines (strawberry, peach, banana, floral, yeast) and flavor (acidity). As a result, they statistically proved that the wines with additives based on antioxidant inactive yeasts were more intense in fruit aromas (strawberry and banana) and less intense in aromatic notes more specific for oxidation (yeast).

These results indicate that the derivates based on inactive wine yeasts and rich in could be interesting additives to preserve the of young wines during their storage. This finding is a sustainable alternative to reduce the content of sulfites in wines.

Explore further: The use of wooden casks or steel tanks for Chardonnay influences its fermentative aroma

More information: ANDÚJAR-ORTIZ, I; CHAYA, C; MARTÍN-ÁLVAREZ, PJ; MORENO-ARRIBAS, MV; POZO-BAYÓN, MA. "Impact of using new commercial glutathione enriched inactive dry yeast oenological preparations on the aroma and sensory properties of wines". International Journal of Food Properties, 17 (5):987-1001; 10.1080/10942912.2012.685682, May 28 2014

Related Stories

Knowing yeast genome produces better wine

June 4, 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 ...

Advice for bag-in-box wine drinkers: Keep it cool

December 5, 2012

Bag-in-box wines are more likely than their bottled counterparts to develop unpleasant flavors, aromas and colors when stored at warm temperatures, a new study has found. Published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food ...

Science finds wines' fruity flavors fade first

May 5, 2014

Testing conventional wisdom with science, recently published research from Washington State University reveals how different flavors "finish," or linger, on the palate following a sip of wine.

Recommended for you

New method developed for producing some metals

August 25, 2016

The MIT researchers were trying to develop a new battery, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, thanks to an unexpected finding in their lab tests, what they discovered was a whole new way of producing the metal antimony—and ...

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

August 26, 2016

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China ...

New electrical energy storage material shows its power

August 24, 2016

A powerful new material developed by Northwestern University chemist William Dichtel and his research team could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range.

Bio-inspired tire design: Where the rubber meets the road

August 24, 2016

The fascination with the ability of geckos to scamper up smooth walls and hang upside down from improbable surfaces has entranced scientists at least as far back as Aristotle, who noted the reptile's remarkable feats in his ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.