Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Winemaking enhanced by DNA technology

Date:
November 23, 2009
Source:
MTT Agrifood Research Finland
Summary:
In winemaking, grape juice is turned to wine during the fermentation process by the action of a number of essential beneficial microorganisms -- namely, bacteria. Sometimes, though, harmful bacteria also populate the fermentation vat, spoiling the wine in the process. A researcher in Finland has developed new methods based on DNA identification for rapidly and accurately identifying detrimental lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria during the earliest stages of the wine fermentation process.

In winemaking, grape juice is turned to wine during the fermentation process by the action of a number of essential beneficial microorganisms -namely bacteria. Sometimes, though, harmful bacteria also populate the fermentation vat, spoiling the wine in the process.

Related Articles


As part of her doctoral research, researcher Lucia Blasco of MTT developed new methods based on DNA identification for rapidly and accurately identifying detrimental lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria during the earliest stages of the wine fermentation process.

In her study, Blasco worked with different DNA fragments, i.e. probes, which bind themselves to the DNA of detrimental bacteria allowing the detection of whole cells, and so-called specific primers, which are used to replicate bacterial DNA. She applied FISH, PCR and 16S-ARDRA techniques in the DNA identification and compared how effectively bacteria marked with probes, or their DNA, can be identified using these methods.

"The FISH technique, which utilises fluorescence and can be used to directly identify individual bacterial cells in grape juice or wine, proved the most effective," says Blasco.

Lactic acid bacteria -- a key culprit of bitterness and mustiness

Detrimental lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria can exist on the surface of grapes prior to crushing; the subsequent grape crushing process then increases the propagation potential of these micro-organisms. In addition, harmful bacteria can also contaminate the grape juice via the winemaking equipment and piping.

As Blasco points out, some lactic acid bacteria are extremely beneficial to the fermentation process. Others, on the other hand, acidify the wine and give it an undesirably bitter palate and musty odour.

"Harmful lactic acid bacteria can also form biogenic amines in the wine which can cause headaches, allergic reactions and blood pressure fluctuations. At worst, they can be carcinogenic," explains Blasco.

In turn, acetic acid bacteria spoil the wine by turning it to vinegar.

Keeping the baddies in check

If harmful bacterial cells are identified early enough in the wine, their numbers can be kept to a safe level. Effective control methods include, for example, treatment with sulphur dioxide gas, filtering or covering with an inert gas of the type used in the food industry for food preservation. The detrimental bacterial DNA identification method developed by the PhD study for use in the wine fermentation process is also suitable for industrial-scale application.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by MTT Agrifood Research Finland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

MTT Agrifood Research Finland. "Winemaking enhanced by DNA technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120000553.htm>.
MTT Agrifood Research Finland. (2009, November 23). Winemaking enhanced by DNA technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120000553.htm
MTT Agrifood Research Finland. "Winemaking enhanced by DNA technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120000553.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins