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Eliminating Brettanomyces from oak wood with cold plasma at atmospheric pressure APCP

Lucía Gonzalez-Arenzana, Institute of Grapevine and Wine Sciences ICVV (Spain)

Eliminating Brettanomyces from oak wood with cold plasma at atmospheric pressure  APCP

In the oenological industry, the maintenance and sanitation of oak barrels has become a fundamental task. The wood has a porous structure that facilitates the penetration not only of the wine, but of the microorganisms it contains, such as the alterative yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Although the most widely used method of sanitizing barrels is the burning of sulfur tablets, there is a European directive that will limit this practice, even when an effective alternative has not yet been found.

This research is part of a project that studies the application of cold plasma at atmospheric pressure (APCP) to sanitize oak wood staves. APCP is a technology that generates non equilibrated ionized gas, reactive species, it’s not toxic or expensive, doesn’t generate waste and has been used for disinfection of food surfaces: this alternative technology to sulfur is respectful to the environment.

In this study, various fragments of staves artificially contaminated with Brettanomyces bruxellensis were exposed to the APCP device with different plasma gas and distinct plasma strengths. The results showed inactivations using argon for plasma generation, but in which conditions were absolute inactivations reached? Were any morphological modifications seen on the surface of the wood after the APCP treatments?

Video of the seminar held during ENOFORUM USA 2021 (4-5 May 2021)

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Published on 02/01/2022
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