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Wood solutions to excessive acetification length in traditional vinegar production

Objective

Traditional wine vinegar production is a very lengthy process. Such production times have become the most serious problem. Traditional production is generally done by small SMEs who are now at risk due to high production costs, low profit margins and competition from inferior versions of vinegar produced by 'quick' industrial methods.Although there is strong consumer demand for high quality vinegars, the amount produced annually is low and expensive. Furthermore, the low annual production level is a consequence of a lack of knowledge of the basic biotechnological process involved.

To minimize the costs due to the long production periods and to reduce the risks associated we propose to shorten production while maintaining the quality standards. The main reason for time consuming production process is that the Acetic acid bacteria are obligate aerobes and oxygen must be slowly fed into the process. Until now, production times have been reduced by forcing air to disperse through the wine which converts the superficial transformation (aeration) into a submerged development. However, the quality of the final product is lower than that produced by the slower traditional method as there is considerable loss of volatile compounds.

The WINEGAR project plans to reduce the time needed for traditional vinegar production through an integrated approach which will include research into the wood used in the barrels and the selection and control of bacteria. Most of the wood used in the production of wine vinegar barrels has been similar to that used in wine production i.e. oak, which allows very limited oxygen transfer. The WINEGAR project will investigate the use of other woods which are more porous. The project will also research the effects of wood thickness on oxygen diffusion.

Finally, a collection of the different micro-organisms involved in the production will be developed (acetic acid bacteria) during the WINEGAR project and for other follow-on work.

Call for proposal

FP6-2003-SME-1
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT ROVIRA I VIRGILI
Address
C/ De L'escorxador S/n
Tarragona
Spain

Participants (7)

BOTERIA TORNER
Spain
Address
Ctra N340 Km 1217,5, Pol Ind. La Masia
Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues
CAVALLI CAV. FERDINANDO SNC
Italy
Address
Via Del Cristo 6/A-b
Scandiano
UNIVERSIDAD DE SEVILLA
Spain
Address
C/ San Fernando 4
Sevilla
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MODENA E REGGIO EMILIA
Italy
Address
Via Universita 4
Modena
UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE
Switzerland
Address
24 Rue Du General Dufour
Geneve 4
VINAIGRERIE LA GUINELLE
France
Address
La Guinelle Den Bas
Port Vendres
VITICULTORS MAS D'EN GIL
Spain
Address
Finca Mas D'en Gil
Bellmunt Del Prioral