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PreserveWine-DEMO – "Demonstration of a non-thermal process to replace use of sulphites and other chemical preservatives in European wines to meet new European Directive"

The PreserveWine project (Grant Agreement Number: 262507) funded by the programme Research for the Benefit of SMEs delivered a high quality scientific and technical information about a novel non-thermal process called "Pressure Change Technology (PCT)". This process is a non-thermal preservation method to extend liquid food shelf life. In case of wine the process allows reduction of sulphite additive commonly used to inactivate yeasts and microbial spoilage.

PCT in general takes advantage of the higher solubility of inert gases under pressure and an enhanced diffusivity of supercritical inert gases (N2, Ar) in liquids. The disruption of the microbial cell after a sudden depressurization until atmospheric pressure is reached. The main advantages of this technology are that the heat-labile components, colour and taste remain unchanged and the amount of oxygen in wine is significantly reduced avoiding its oxidation. The effect of various process parameters (gas type, pressure, temperature, retention time) on the physicochemical and sensory quality of red and white wine has to be extensively validated.

The consortium of the PreserveWine-DEMO project aims to increase the scale and impact of the research results obtained in the previous project, transferring the PCT technology into an industrial scale. To achieve this objective, process demonstration at industrial sites to confirm long-term performance, operation cost and economic viability is required. The industrialization of the manufacturing process to enable economies of scale to be achieved is as well a main point to be developed.