The application of PEF (High Voltage Electric Pulses) technology reduces the maceration time of the grapes in the winemaking process. This process improves the competitiveness of wineries by increasing their productivity and reducing energy costs associated with winemaking. After several years of study researchers Javier Raso and Ignacio Álvarez, from the New Food Processing Technologies Research Group of the Agrifood Institute of Aragon IA2 at the University of Zaragoza, have developed the process of applying high voltage electrical pulses technology (PEF) for winemaking. The results obtained by the researchers were presented in Paris to the experts of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the 18th General Assembly of the OIV has approved their use.
The treatment using PEF technology causes the formation of pores in the skin cells of the grape, facilitating the extraction of phenolic compounds and aromatic precursors located inside, which play a decisive role in the final quality of the wine.
Thanks to the approval of the International Organization of Vine and Wine, wineries from now on will have a tool that will allow them to reduce the maceration time in the wine-making process, which will translate into energy savings and an increase in production capacity, without the need to invest in the acquisition of new fermentation-maceration tanks. All of this translates into an improvement in the competitiveness and sustainability of the wineries.
The technology approval process began in 2018 at the request of the Spanish delegation to the OIV, coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The results obtained over three years by the researchers from the University of Zaragoza, were presented to the OIV group of experts. The results were decisive in overcoming the eight stages required for the approval of a Resolution by this body.
The OIV is an intergovernmental organization of a scientific-technical nature made up of 47 member states from the five continents, representing 85% of world production. The main function of the OIV is to develop harmonized and internationally recognized standards for the production of wine products. To achieve its objectives, the OIV works with a network of over a thousand experts from around the world and final decisions are made by consensus of the Member States. The acceptance of the PEF technology by the OIV, and the fact that commercial equipment capable of applying these treatments is already available in a winery, guarantee that very soon it will be possible to offer wine obtained from grapes treated by PEF.
Below we offer the presentations given by this research group during the 11th edition of Enoforum in Zaragoza:
High Voltage Electric Pulses (PEF), a viable technology to improve the extraction of polyphenols in the red wine making process
Marcos Andrés Maza, University of Zaragoza
Reduction of aging time on Chardonnay wine lees by electroporation
Juan Manuel Martínez, University of Zaragoza