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UV-C treatment of grape must: Microbial inactivation, toxicological considerations and influence on chemical and sensory properties of white wine

Diesler, Kathrin, Golombek, Patricia, Kromm, Lisa, Scharfenberger-Schmeer, Maren, Durner, Dominik, Schmarr, Hans-Georg, Stahl, Mario R., Briviba, Karlis, Fischer, Ulrich
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2019 v.52 pp. 291-304
Ames test, Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, absorbance, bleaching, caftaric acid, color, dissolved oxygen, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, grape must, linalool, microbial load, mutagenicity, nonthermal processing, off flavors, pigments, sensory evaluation, spoilage yeast, turbidity, ultraviolet radiation, white wines, yeasts
UV-C was investigated to inactivate microorganisms in grape must. The aim was to evaluate the effect of UV-C on wine-related yeasts under winery conditions, to investigate the toxicological potential and to analyze the effects on chemical and sensory wine properties. Metschnikowia pulcherrima showed the highest UV-C tolerance, Saccharomyces cerevisiae the lowest. With an initial cell count of 106 cfu/mL, M. pulcherrima required a UV-C dose of >1.2 kJ/L, S. cerevisiae <0.8 kJ/L for inactivation. Inactivation efficacy decreased with higher must turbidity (26.7–144.5 NTU), optical density and degree of microbial load (104–108 cfu/mL) suggesting a shadowing effect of individual microbes. UV-C treatment did not impact mutagenicity as tested by the Ames test. A decrease in dissolved oxygen and caftaric acid content indicated oxidative reactions. UV-C induced color bleaching (ΔE: 0–13) was also observed indicating a degradation of colored pigments. GC × GC–MS analysis revealed a decrease of β-damascenone and linalool content in wines made from UV-C treated must. Descriptive analysis by a trained sensory panel showed that off-flavors did not occur at doses that were relevant for microbial inactivation (between 1.0 and 3.0 kJ/L).UV-C treatment is a non-thermal processing technique for the preservation of food. In this study, the applicability of UV-C treatment for the inactivation of spoilage yeast in grape must was demonstrated in pilot scale. The treatment provided sufficient microbial inactivation without having toxicological impact as examined by the Ames test and without causing off-flavor formation in the wines using relevant doses.