Food and beverage companies all over the world are tuning into the increased consumer demand for products with less chemical additives and the wine industry is no exception. Two years of large scale trials demonstrate that Chr. Hansen’s Lactobacillus plantarum Viniflora® NoVA™ can be used to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) and thereby simplify the production of non-sulfited red wines.
The global red wine production adds up to around 1.6 billion liters per year. Traditionally, sulfites have played a crucial role as a preservative in this market, protecting the wine from acetic acid bacteria, molds or unwanted yeasts, and maintaining the freshness of the product. With winemakers looking to meet consumer demand for cleaner products, wines with less or no sulfites are an increasing niche. However, removing sulfites from the winemaking process presents some technical challenges.
Cleaner wines: Viniflora® NoVA™ enables reduction or removal of sulfites
New trials on Chr. Hansen’s Viniflora® NoVA™ culture shows that it holds new and patented abilities which enable winemakers to reduce sulfite levels without compromising on the stability of the end product. This is possible thanks to a ‘competitive exclusion’ mechanism, which relies on the ability of selected microbial solutions, like Viniflora® NoVA™, to act as a bioprotectant and outgrow and outcompete unwanted molds, yeast or bacteria. This ability removes the major barrier facing winemakers that produce wines without sulfites.
Laurent Hubert, Marketing Director, Wine, Chr. Hansen, says: “Until now, removing sulfites has often resulted in quite unstable and faulty wines with unwanted flavors, a risk that very few winemakers are willing to take. With the Viniflora® NoVA™ culture, we provide a natural and cleaner alternative, which assists our customers in producing the products that their customers demand”.
Better wines: Viniflora® NoVA™ helps to avoid early downgrades
Dr. Sofie Særens, Application Manager, Wine, Chr. Hansen, says: “Reducing sulfites while protecting must and wines from spoilage organisms means that winemakers can offer wines with lower levels of off-flavors, acetic acid, and biogenic amines, and thereby avoid potential unpleasant effects. Consequently the wine will acquire a more aromatic intensity, especially on the fruit flavors”.
Facts about the Viniflora® NoVA™ culture, an award-winning microbial solution
In October 2014, Chr. Hansen and the Viniflora® NoVA™ culture was awarded the Global Frost & Sullivan Award in New Product Innovation Leadership, for its pioneering work in microbial solutions for the wine industry.
In addition to providing winemakers with a protective effect, the Viniflora® NoVA™ culture can reduce production time through a ground-breaking method that reverses the classical scheme of fermentation management in wines.
In 2015, Viniflora® NoVA™ usage has been booming both in the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere wine countries, clearly positioning this natural, innovative solution as a major breakthrough for winemaking.
Viniflora® NoVA™ is particularly used in red wines from Mediterranean, warm climates and has confirmed Chr. Hansen's leadership in malolactic fermentation solutions.
Reverse inoculation of Lactobacillus selected strains in must to manage malolactic fermentation before alcoholic fermentation is definitively a paradigm change for winemakers opening new fields of opportunities in wine fermentation management.
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