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Thursday 18 May 2023

New technology could end the issue of pongy wines

Ever had a wine that didn't smell quite right?

It is hoped that new technology might end the issue of undesirable aromas, sometimes know as "wine pong". 

A new ‘smart surface’ has been shown to successfully remove unwanted sulfur aromas, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and Flinders University have discovered.

With funding from Wine Australia and support from Flinders University, the technology is based on applying a thin plasma polymer coating to a surface and then immobilising nanoparticles on that surface, which then bind strongly to sulfur compounds in wine.

Trials of the new surface, recently published in the journals npj Science of Food, removed up to 45% of free hydrogen sulfide from wine - and the treatment was also effective at removing more complex sulfur compounds, such as methanethiol.

“A key benefit of the new approach is that it is easily deployable and retrievable," says AWRI Principal Research Scientist Dr Agnieszka Mierczynska-Vasilev.

"Essentially there’s a one-step process where the smart surface is added directly to the wine and then removed after a certain time period.”

There is also potential for the technology to be applied to wine equipment including filtration devices, aerators, decanters, packaging materials or closures.

Volatile sulfur compounds are a group of compounds that contribute significantly to wine aromas, including ‘rotten egg’, ‘rubber’ and ‘canned corn’.

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