Special SIMEI-UIV Award given at the Enoforum Web Conference

SIMEI-UIV awards ultrasound technology in the vinification of red wines

"Innovations in the vinification process of red wines through ultrasound technology", the research work presented by Andrea Natolino of the University of Udine, co-authors Emilio Celotti of the same University and Tomás Roman and Giorgio Nicolini of Fem, won the Simei -UIV award, dedicated to the best research on technologies exhibited at SIMEI, promoted by Unione Italiana Vini, on the occasion of the Enoforum Web Conference.
This worldwide competition, organised by Vinidea, offered the scientific community the opportunity to show and see their innovative research in the wine sector rewarded.
The global wine production took part through the support, financial and other, of the associations of producers and technicians in Italy, including SIMEI - the event of Unione Italiana Vini, world leader in technologies for wine-making and bottling - France, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, United States, Portugal.


Andrea Natolino1, Tomás Roman2, Giorgio Nicolini2, Emilio Celotti1

1 Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine (Italy)
2 Edmund Mach Fundation (Italy)

High power ultrasound has been recently recognized one of the most promising technologies in winemaking processes, especially after the recent OIV resolution, concerning the application of ultrasounds on crushed grapes to promote the extraction of skin compounds. The present work resumes the pluriannual researches carried out at laboratory and industrial scale, aimed to study the effect of ultrasounds during different steps of the red winemaking process, using respectively: a static laboratory sonifier (20 kHz) and a pilot plant at continuous mode (27 kHz).
A number of technological experiments were carried out on different grape cultivars from different wineries and producing areas, to study properly the potential effectiveness of ultrasounds on the maceration process. In all the industrial experiments, the crushed grapes were split into equal and homogeneous aliquots by an appropriate Y-valve to ensure the comparison of untreated and sonicated samples. Sonication induced a higher extraction rate of polyphenols compounds from grape skins and seeds, and allowed a 40-60% reduction of the maceration time, giving besides significant advantages from an energetic and economic point of view. Ultrasound showed nonetheless remarkable advantages on color stability and sensorial characteristics.
The effect of ultrasound amplitude and treatment time was also studied, at laboratory scale, on anthocyanins, tannins, and color stability indices. Anthocyanins and chromatic properties are preserved by ultrasounds and a potential chemical effect on the evolution of some analytical indices during wine aging has been highlighted.
Ultrasound could be considered as an emerging technology aimed to reduce the inputs of red winemaking process and to develop a novel practice.