New analysis services for the wine-producing sector

July 20, 2005

This release is also available in Spanish.

The AZTI-Tecnalia laboratories have launched new methodologies for analysing parameters that, up to now, have not usually been analysed for wines - ocratoxine A and histamine. The design of these new analysis methodologies arose from the need for adaptation to new market demands in the wine-producing world.

To make an analytical determination of Ocratoxine A, AZTI has launched a HPLC technique based on fluorescence detection for wines. Ocratoxine A (a mycotoxin produced by various fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillin). Although in wines their presence is very low, the exigencies in exports to the western markets is having effect.

As regards determining histamine, the technique used is also HPLC. The presence of histamine in wines (due to the decarboxylation of the histidine amino acid by heterofermentative Lactobacillus), while not being a major health problem, has an effect on the quality of the wine, and so its control is necessary in a number of trading transactions.

Apart from these new analytical applications and due to the needs of the quality systems established in the various companies, AZTI has been analysing - over the past 8 years - chlorophenols and chloroanisols in various points of the wine production process, including the corking process and barrels. These components, the degradation of which give rise to compounds which are attributed with the taste or the smell of being "corked" or "musty", is one of the most common defects in wine and most quickly detected by the consumer and, in many cases, the main cause of returns that are suffered by the wine companies.
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Elhuyar Fundazioa

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