"Non-thermal process to replace use of sulphites and other chemical preservatives in European wines to meet new European Directive"
PreserveWine is a partnership of European SMEs that has identified a promising non-thermal process to extend wine shelf life while avoiding the use of chemical preservatives and keeping high wine quality. Pressure Change Technology (PCT) is a low cost process with minimum energy use that has potential with further development and validation to be of significant commercial benefit to wine producers by providing them an alternative to the use of sulphur dioxide in the winemaking process. This will help them to align to current European regulations that have dramatically reduced the minimum levels of application of sulphur dioxide in wines due to the health concerns.
PCT is a novel non-thermal technique that involves charging a liquid product with pressure and an inert gas and then rapidly releasing the pressure. The sudden pressure release causes microbial cell walls to rupture, inactivating microorganisms.
This has been demonstrated on a small pilot scale batch process; in the current project PreserveWine the PCT process will scientifically validated. A further objective is the development and scale-up into a continuous in-line pre-industrial demonstrator to test the PCT with wine and other liquid foods.