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Non-thermal process to replace use of sulphites and other chemical preservatives in European wines to meet new European Directive (PreserveWine)
Start date: Dec 1, 2010, End date: Jan 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We are a partnership of EU SMEs that has identified a promising non-thermal process that can extend wine shelf life while avoiding the use of chemical preservatives and keeping high wine quality. Pressure Change Technology PCT is a low cost process with minimum energy use, that has potential with further development and validation to be of significant commercial benefit to wine producers by providing them an alternative to align to current EC regulations that dramatically reduced the use sulphur dioxide in wines due to the health concerns. With over 1,5 Million wine holdings in Europe, we identified a potential market for this system of at least 1% of wine holdings in Europe (150,000 PCT units) This project we will extend prior R&D. PCT is a novel non-thermal technique that involves charging product with pressure and an inert gas and then rapidly releasing the pressure; the sudden pressure release causes microbial cell walls to rupture, inactivating microorganisms. It has been demonstrated on a small pilot scale batch process; in this project we will scientifically validate the process, developing and scaling it up into a continuous in-line pre-industrial demonstrator testing it with wine but to also enable application to other liquid foods. Objectives: Repeated validation of the process to reduce microbial loading in wine by at least log10 5 and protect wine from chemical and biological oxidation./Enhanced organoleptic quality (aroma and taste) of wine when compared to “sulphited wine” wines when assed by a trained taste panel. /Pilot scale demonstration of our PCT system capable of being integrated into a commercial winemaking process line, at flexible design for optional application at various processing stages, with a throughput of 120 L/h / Full HACCP and GMP compliance Provide data to scale up to industrial capacity of 1.2 m3/h at energy costs of 40% to comparable thermal processes, ensuring a potential market share of 1% of the wine holdings in Europe.

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