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Use of Ultra-High Pressure Homogenization processing in winemaking: Control of microbial populations in grape musts and effects in sensory quality

Loira, Iris, Morata, Antonio, Bañuelos, María Antonia, Puig-Pujol, Anna, Guamis, Buenaventura, González, Carmen, Suárez-Lepe, José Antonio
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2018 v.50 pp. 50-56
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Vitis vinifera, bacteria, fermentation, grape must, grapes, homogenization, sensory properties, spoilage microorganisms, sterilizing, sulfites, sulfur dioxide, temperature, winemaking, wines, yeasts
Ultra-High Pressure Homogenization (UHPH) is a fast and efficient technique that can sterilize fluid foods at low temperatures or even under cooling conditions. A white must (Vitis vinifera L.) was processed at 300 MPa (inlet temperature 20 °C, in-valve temperature 98 °C, outlet temperature 25 °C, and time in valve 0.02 s) and their performance was compared with two untreated controls, a must that underwent a spontaneous fermentation (without SO2 addition) and another must that was sulfited with 35 mg/L of total SO2 and inoculated with the same Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast as the UHPH-treated must. UHPH treatment led to the total elimination of grape microorganisms considering an initial population of 1 × 106 CFU/mL in average of wild yeasts and fungi in must, and approximately 7 × 103 CFU/mL of background bacteria. In a parallel assay, UHPH-processed must without yeast inoculation showed absence of fermentation for eight days at 18 °C. The musts treated with UHPH showed a lighter appearance (10%) before fermentation compared to the control. The triangular test verified the existence of sensory differences between the wines obtained and the preference tests showed that the judges found the wine obtained from the UHPH-treated must more fruity (3.5/5 compared with 1.5–2 in controls) and with better aroma.UHPH is an interesting way to process the must before fermentation allowing the reduction of sulfite addition while controlling wild and spoilage microorganisms.