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European Food Research and Technology
Vol.
234, No. 1, 2012; Pages: 1 - 12

Chemical and physical methodologies for the replacement/reduction of sulfur dioxide use during winemaking: review of their potentialities and limitations

Mickael C. Santos, ClŠudia Nunes, Jorge A. Saraiva, Manuel A. Coimbra

QOPNA, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal.
Abstract

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is probably one of the most versatile and efficient additives used in winemaking due to its antiseptic and antioxidant properties. This compound is also important for minimizing phenolic polymerization rate and color loss during wine aging. However, allergies caused by SO2-derived compounds, namely the sulfites, are becoming more frequent, causing symptoms such as headaches, nausea, gastric irritation, and breathing difficulties in asthma patients. Consequently, the legislated maximum concentration of SO2 allowed in wines has been gradually reduced. For this reason, it is crucial in a competitive global winemaking market strategy, to reduce or even eliminate the use of SO2 as a preservative and to search for new healthier and safe strategies. This work gives an overview of the main methodologies that have been proposed so far and that have potential to be used in winemaking as an alternative to SO2. The addition of compounds such as dimethyl dicarbonate, bacteriocins, phenolic compounds, and lysozyme, and the use of physical methods, namely pulsed electric fields, ultrasound, ultraviolet radiation, and high pressure are discussed and critically evaluated.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Wine must; SO2-free wines; Preservation; Antioxidant capacity


 

 

 
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