Malo now BEFORE alcoholic fermentation

Karien O'Kennedy - 05 Apr 2016

A born and bred South African bacterium is making headlines and winning awards for bringing about a complete paradigm shift in the way we go about malolactic fermentation. First there was spontaneous, which is now considered “so yesterday” (although still practiced by many). Then came commercial cultures to be inoculated after alcoholic fermentation (AF), offering various advantageous over spontaneous such as low VA, low or no biogenic amines, speed, etc. The past few years were dominated by AF/MLF co-inoculation offering further advantageous such as even faster speed, reliability and aroma contributions.

BUT now Danish biotechnology company Chr. Hansen has launched VinifloraÒ NoVA™ - a Lactobacillus plantarum culture that can complete MLF in as fast as three days before AF! The concept of reverse inoculation is aimed at no / low sulphur wines, where inoculation is done on the grapes, during or shortly after crushing. The bacterium originates from the Institute for Wine Biotechnology (IWBT), Stellenbosch University’s culture collection that was built up over many years through isolating lactic acid bacteria from South African wines. This proudly South African starter culture has been trialled in various wine producing countries in 2014 and 2015 and feedback will be provided by Thales Services, the distributer of Chr. Hansen’s products in the South African wine industry. Other companies that have commercialised Lactobacillus plantarum cultures (for co-inoculation) are Lallemand and Anchor Yeast (in combination with Oenococcus oeni).

The commercialisation of VinifloraÒ NoVA™ by Chr. Hansen follows on a range of other successfully commercialised microorganisms from the IWBT (or before 1995: Dept. of Microbiology) which include: Anchor VIN 13, Anchor VIN 2000, Anchor Exotics, Anchor Co-Inoculant, Cross Evolution (Lallemand) and Uvaferm Exence (Lallemand).

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