CORDIS - EU research results

Development of an innovative technique for the production of microbial and chemical inactive wine and champagne cork stoppers


Corkstoppers utilised as closures for wine and champagne are more and more doubted by the wine industry because of their flavour damaging microbial and chemical properties. Annual economical losses of the wine industry caused by corkstoppers exceed 500 MECU and therefore are of major concern in both industries. More and more voices become audible who demand a significant improved reliability of the product, otherwise its substitution by synthetic closure materials. But a displacement of the natural product cork by synthetic substitutes will surely terminate the continuance of the SME-proposers and also of a large number of very small, small and medium cork producing enterprises located in several of the less favoured countries of the EC. The proposal aims to extinct the microbial burden and chemical contamination of corkstoppers by: - a systematic scrutinisation of all current steps of cork processing conducted by the SME-proposers, - for their ability to reduce the naturally occuring contamination of the cork by microorganisms (bioburden), focussing on the early key processings boiling, stabilisation and bleaching, - for events of an introduction or production of chemical contaminants, - a screening for new steps of processing, powerful against cork-microrganisms but without ecological, toxicological and sensorical side-effects, - a first scaling up of powerful laboratory methods for a small scale production in the plants environs. The most important tools utilised in the course of the proposal are the first reliable quantitative assay for the microbial activity in cork (working title: CORA) developed by the RTD-performer and an extensive chemical analysis. KEYWORDS: Corkstopper, Wine, Champagne, Flavour damage, Microbiology, Chemistry, Utensils coming into contact with food

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Rudolf Ohlinger GmbH & Co. KG
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67136 Fussgoenheim

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Participants (4)