Wine barrels in cellar

Lowering biogenic amines and ochratoxin in wines

Bio-protection helps reducing wines’ final concentrations of biogenic amines and ochratoxin, and this facilitates exports

Nature is not always our best friend!

In winemaking, a lot of different types of microbes can alter the quality of wines by producing toxins on the grapes, once they are harvested or during alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. 

Wild, indigenous flora – sometimes also named ‘spontaneous’ flora – present on the grapes contain many molds and bacteria that may produce either biogenic amines from amino acids such as histamine, tyramine, putrescine or cadaverine or ochratoxin very early in the process. Botrytis cinerea is responsible for the common gray rot, and is able to produce important quantities of ochratoxin A (OTA).

Compounds such as histamine may have a severe effect on people suffering from intolerance, and the presence of ethanol in wine may enhance the effect of biogenic amines in sensitive people. Many consumers have minor symptoms such as headache or ‘red-face syndrome’ when consuming their first glass of wine. They sometimes don not even know they have an intolerance to histamine.

Our team of wine experts can diagnosis the primary sources of biogenic amines or ochratoxin A in grapes or within the winery. Through this process, we help wineries select the best option to dramatically reduce the presence of negative compounds. 

Our methods include:

  • Malolactic fermentation with VINIFLORA® enological bacteria: by far the most efficient way to dramatically reduce the presence of biogenic amines in the final wine. 
  • Protecting the grapes as soon as they have been harvested with some of our VINIFLORA® solutions for bio-protection, which limits the development of organisms such as molds that may be detrimental to the quality of the wine.

This expertise helps deliver safer and better wines and facilitates export. Contact our wine team if you need support.

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