Chr Hansen targets wine industry with yeast product

Related tags Chr hansen Wine Yeast

Wineries are getting bigger and their businesses are therefore
exposed to greater risk. In a bid to help producers achieve greater
consistency, Danish ingredients firm Chr Hansen has created blended
yeasts, writes Philippa Nuttall.

The company last week announced that its has created a product through blending several species of Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces wine yeasts, which, it said, ensures successful alcohol fermentation and contributes to the flavor development in wines.

Chr Hansen said that while a small winery can cope with undesirable organisms getting into the wine and suffering the loss of a few cases of vino, such a loss could be catastrophic for industrial scale producers, such as those in California.

"Large manufacturers want products in which small manufacturers are not interested,"​ said David Burrington, director of marketing for cultures and enzymes. "This product is easy to use and cost efficient in large scale wineries where producers are using a 'mother' wine approach."

The company said that five years of testing in its laboratories and at several commercial wineries in the US and Europe has shown the products give winemakers "the improved complexity found in successful 'wild' fermentations, and the control and reliability of conventionally inoculated fermentations"​.

Burrington told that: "Some winemakers are wary about using standardized cultures, but it is never a problem because the culture reacts with the grape pressings and the microflora giving the wine an individual flavor"​ .

Chr Hansen pinpointed the wine industry as a potential market more than 12 years ago, building a pilot winery in southern France to test ingredients and work with customers to improve the wine process and quality.

Moreover, the firm already supplies a range of wine ingredients that cover bacteria cultures, enzymes and yeasts. In 2003, it launched a new bacterial strain for red wine with a high alcohol content (16-17 per cent): Viniflora CH16. The product removes malic acid "so that the wine-maker can assure the quality of high-alcohol wines"​.

The need to manage production in an industrial fashion grows with increasing size, said Lionel Schmitt, sales and marketing manager at Chr Hansen in Europe, last year. But with 97 percent of the global wine businesses using traditional techniques, the market still needs some convincing.

Related topics R&D Beer & cider

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