Food and drink researchers have found a new way to produce sparkling wine using magnetised yeast a process which reduces the time taken to remove waste yeast from weeks to minutes.
The traditional method of producing sparkling wine Methode Champenoise uses yeast to create a secondary fermentation to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and the characteristic bubbles associated with sparkling wine.
To remove the spent yeast traditional methods use a rotate and elevate technique often done by hand to allow the yeast to settle in the bottle neck. The neck is then plunged into freezing liquid and the frozen waste yeast plug removed. The whole process can take up to 60 days.
However, a European research team at the University of Ljubljana1 have found a way to attach magnetic nanoparticles to the surface of yeast. With the use of magnets, waste yeast extraction takes just 15-20 minutes over 4,000 times faster than the traditional method.
The yeast remains unaltered by being magnetised, even after fermentation, and sensory tests suggest the wine’s bouquet, mouth feel, body, taste, bubble size and overall drinking experience is unaffected by the process.
The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) chief executive, Dr David Brown, said: “As the global population grows there is pressure on food and drink manufacturers to become more efficient. Saving time and energy is fundamental to this if we are to maintain adequate food supply.
posted by: Eric Fujimori