New product for tartrate stabilisation

Karien O'Kennedy - 02 May 2016

A new product with a similar mode of action as CMC, will be on the market soon. The application for the legalisation of poly-aspartate (PASP), used for the prevention of tartrate crystals in white and red wine, is in step five of the OIV’s legalisation process of seven steps. Like CMC, poly-aspartate does not occur naturally, but is produced from the amino acid aspartic acid / aspartate, using various polymerisation processes. The result is a high molecular weight polymer that is 100% biodegradable.

Various processes and products exist for tartrate stabilisation in wines. Each process or product has its advantages and disadvantages. The three products with a similar mode of action to poly-aspartate (prevention of the precipitation of KHT salts in wine) are metatartaric acid, CMC and mannoproteins. Meta tartaric acid is very effective, but has a short stabilisation effect of only five to six months; CMC is not suitable for red wine because it causes reduction of colour and mannoproteins only work on certain wines and are not always cost-effective. Poly-aspartate, on the other hand is economical, environmentally friendly and works on all wine.

A group of Italian researchers did the initial research to determine whether poly-aspartate, already used in other industries, is suitable for wine. They tested three different PASP's for their effectiveness in white and red wine and compared it to metatartaric acid. They found that after one year in the bottle, the wines that had metatartaric acid added were all unstable and the PASP wines dosed at 100 mg / L (OIV maximum dose) were all stable. Where a lower dosage was used, only one PASP was still stable. This result is important to keep in mind for the future where there may be more than one supplier of PASP, with possible different efficacies. Further studies are currently underway to investigate the inhibitory effect of PASP's on crystal formation in wines, where the chemical-physical composition (pH, alcohol, poly-phenols) has been altered. The commercial company involved in the development of the product is Enartis.

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