Novel method to remove ‘Ladybug taint’ from packaged wine

June 9th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 9 (ANI): The bad taste in stored wine, known as the “ladybug taint”, would soon be a thing of the past, all thanks to a newly developed way of packaging the spirit-cartons sealed with a thin layer of aluminium.

“Ladybug taint” is caused by chemicals called alkyl-methoxypyrazines that accumulate in wine both from grapes themselves and from remains of ladybug beetles crushed when grapes are processed.

However, researchers have found that if wine is sold in cartons with a thin aluminium layer, it is less likely to get ruined by molecules that add the unwanted green vegetable taste to the alcohol.

For their study, the researchers added identical amounts of methoxypyrazines to red and white wines, and then stored them for 18 months in aseptic box cartons or in bottles sealed with either synthetic corks, screw tops or natural corks.

The results clearly saw the cartons easily outperforming the bottles by reducing the levels of the chemicals by up to 45 per cent.

The researchers attributed it to the possibility that the aluminium seal absorbs the chemicals.

However, team leader Gary Pickering of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, claimed that there’s a flipside to the new packaging method-the oxygen admitted by the cartons could destroy important flavour and odour compounds through oxidation.

“I would not recommend aseptic cartons for quality wines intended to age,” New Scientist magazine quoted him as saying.

A research article on the study has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (ANI)

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