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Malolactic fermentation: knowledge versus practice

Maret Du Toit, Stellenbosch University - Elda Lerm, Anchor Yeast

Malolactic fermentation: knowledge versus practice

The knowledge, objectives and management of malolactic fermentation (MLF) have evolved greatly in recent years. Until very recently, Oenococus oeni was the main microorganism responsible and its only objective was to consume the malic acid present.

The great technological advances achieved through the many studies dedicated to alcoholic fermentation have made it possible to understand the great opportunities that its application also offers for MLF (biodiversity, new species, mixed cultures, enzymatic activity) and, above all, have allowed a new approach to MLF, which is now fundamentally considered an effective tool for improving the aroma and taste of wine.

In her presentation during Enoforum web, Maret Du Toit, considered one of the world's leading experts on this subject, analyses in detail the recent advances in research, describing the parameters that determine the success and the trail left by MLF: pH, ethanol, malic acid concentration, interaction with yeasts, nutrients, fungicide residues, presence of inhibitors, wine temperature, SO2, different inoculation scenarios, etc.The variation and interaction between all these parameters will have important effects on the type of wine we will obtain and on its aromatic profile (smoothness and creaminess, buttery notes, reduction of vegetal aromas, increase of fruity notes...)

Below Elda Lerm describes the practices that can facilitate or hinder the process and that allow us to face MLF as a tool, not only for the reduction of acidity and microbiological stability, but also to enhance the quality and sensory profile of the wine.

In particular, she analyses some interesting aspects raised by the oenologists: effect of micro-oxygenation, inoculation scenarios and influence on aroma (single or mixed cultures; co-inoculation or sequential co-inoculation), stimulating or inhibiting effect of polyphenols, dispersion and nutrition of bacteria, optimal conditions and parameters for fermentation, differences between selected bacteria cultures.

For more information: Anchor Bacterias
Contact: +33 645 154 524  -

The papers reproduced in these video were presented at the 1st Spanish edition of Enforum Web (5-7 May 2020) within the module organized in collaboration with Anchor Oenology.

Published on 07/23/2020
Item available in spagnolo
    • What do we know about MLF in 2020?
    • Maret du Toit, Stellenbosch University
    • Applying our knowledge to determine best MLF practices in 2020
    • Elda Lerm, International Product Manager, Anchor Oenology
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