Hand-held wine scanner ups quality control

By Chris Mercer at Sitevi 2005

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wine

Two French entrepreneurs have developed a novel hand-held wine
tester that will better help wine firms meet specific consumer
tastes by taking scientific samples like a diabetic measures blood

The Viniscan machine, which rests in the hand like a television remote control, is the first product to emerge from government-aided research by two young contractors in southern France.

The new wine scanner was awarded a prize for one of the most innovative products unveiled at this week's Sitevi 2005 wine production expo in Montpellier.

One of the brains behind Viniscan, 24-year-old Cédric Naud, told www.BeverageDaily.com​ how the machine worked just like a diabetics' portable blood sugar reader.

Wine is dropped onto a small metal electrode and inserted into the machine, which then tells the user the content of certain molecules and also micro-bubbles that affect the quality, body and aroma of the wine during fermentation.

The results appear in between 30 seconds and two minutes.

"I have family and friends in the wine trade who used to tell me about the difficulty in analysing and testing their wine,"​ said Naud, who is from France's biggest wine-producing region, Languedoc Roussillon.

Viniscan is aimed at all sizes of wine firm. "It controls in real time the critical phases of winemaking and more precisely malo-lactic fermentation. This fermentation is today a critical phase in winemaking and indispensable in obtaining good quality."

Naud said that whilst Viniscan could not provide a complete analysis and would probably work best alongside laboratory tests, it meant wineries could keep track of their products much more closely.

"For example, on a Sunday when everything is closed you can just take a quick sample. It also helps you to record your results, like what works and what doesn't work."

This should help wine producers to improve the quality of their wines and make changes depending on their target audience.

The ability to check wine regularly so as to create a product as close to consumer needs as possible has become more important than ever amid the fierce competition now prevalent in the world wine sector.

Naud said several wineries and laboratories in Languedoc were currently trialling Viniscan and that the machine should be ready to go by the end of the year.

The company Naud helped to found, Scan2A, has already received "a lot of interest"​ from winemakers in a number of different countries.

Related topics R&D Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider

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