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Effects of Pulsed Electric Fields on Cabernet Sauvignon Grape Berries and on the Characteristics of Wines

Delsart, Cristèle, Cholet, Céline, Ghidossi, Rémy, Grimi, Nabil, Gontier, Etienne, Gény, Laurence, Vorobiev, Eugène, Mietton-Peuchot, Martine
Food and bioprocess technology 2014 v.7 no.2 pp. 424-436
acidity, anthocyanins, cell walls, depolymerization, energy, grapes, pH, polyphenols, pulsed electric fields, tannins, winemaking, wines
The treatment of Cabernet Sauvignon red grapes by pulsed electric fields (PEFs) is performed prior to vinification in order to enhance the extraction of polyphenols. PEF treatments of the longest duration and of the highest energy (E = 0.7 kV/cm, t PEF = 200 ms, W = 31 Wh/kg) changed the structure of grape skins and produced a wine that was richer in tannins (34 %), while treatment of the highest strength (E = 4 kV/cm, t PEF = 1 ms, W = 4 Wh/kg) altered the visual appearance of phenolic compounds in the skins and led to greater extraction of the anthocyanins (19 %). The PEF treatments caused the depolymerization of skin tannins, improving the diffusion of these decondensed tannins which are smaller. The PEF treatment of longest duration and of the highest energy had more impact on the parietal tannins and the cell walls of the skins while treatment of the highest strength modified more the vacuolar tannins. Changes in the operating parameters of the PEF treatment (E = 0.7 to 4 kV/cm, t PEF = 1 to 200 ms, W = 4 to 31 Wh/kg) did not affect alcohol content, total acidity nor volatile acidity in finished wines compared to the values of the control wine, but seemed to cause a slight increase in pH (1-2 %). ©Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.