Tiny magnets could be used to remove ‘off-tasting’ flavors in wines

The perfect glass every time: Scientists discover tiny magnets can be used to revive a bad wine by removing ‘off-tasting’ flavors

  • Scientists have found a way to use magnetic particles to remove off-tasting substances in cabernet sauvignon without changing desired taste of the wine
  • Alkylmethoxypyrazines (MPs) produce vegetable-like aromas in some wines
  • Magnetic nanoparticles isolate MPs and easily remove them from the beverage
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A fine wine only ages with time – unless it has substances in it that make the alcoholic beverage taste like vegetables.

All wines naturally contain substances that make up their flavors and aromas. However, sometimes they alter the drink too much.

Scientists have discovered a way to use tiny magnetic particles to separate and remove the offensive particles without changing the natural flavor of the wine.


Scientists have found a way to use magnetic particles to remove off-tasting substances in cabernet sauvignon without changing desired taste of the wine

Alkylmethoxypyrazines, known as MPs, produce vegetable-like aromas in some wines such as cabernet sauvignon.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide attached magnetic nanoparticles to polymers, which in turn isolated the MPs so they could easily be removed.

Right now, the technique has only been shown to work on cabernet sauvignon, but they hope to apply it to all varieties of the drink.

Previously, wine aficionados tried to use additives like activated charcoal or deodorized oak chips to eliminate the problem. The polymers proved to be far more effective.

 The researchers tested the polymers in cabernet sauvignon that was spiked with a fair amount of an MP, producing a strong green bell pepper smell.


Alkylmethoxypyrazines (MPs) produce vegetable-like aromas in some wines. Researchers from the University of Adelaide attached magnetic nanoparticles to polymers, which in turn isolated the MPs so they could easily be removed

WHY ARE GRAPEVINES RESISTANT TO DROUGHT?

Frequent droughts impede plants’ systems for transporting water from the roots to the stems and leaves, causing ‘hydraulic failure’.

A plant’s ability to transport water to its leaves is one of the most important factors in its ability to survive.

Scientists have now found that grapevines from the world’s top wine regions, including Napa and Bordeaux, are more resistant to drought than most plants.

The grapevines almost never experience a full failure of their water transport systems, and are rarely at risk of ‘hydraulic failure’.

This is because the more dry the plants become, the more they frequently they close tiny pores in their leaves called ‘stoma’ to stop water-loss.

Grapevines also store more water in their stems during the growing season to prepare for dry seasons, researchers found.

They used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to figure out that it worked better than polyactic acid film did.

Taste testers on the site determined that the molecules were removed without changing the wine’s distinct aroma intensity.  

‘Chemical and sensory analyses of wines showed that putative imprinted magnetic polymer (PIMP) treatments were more effective than polylactic acid (PLA) film for decreasing “fresh green” aroma nuances,’ the researchers wrote. 

MPs are natural to wines, but in excessive amounts, they can overwhelm the fruity or floral bouquet that connoisseurs know to expect from their wine.

These off-putting aromas and flavors often arise in grapes that are harvested early or are grown in cool climates.

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