Understanding and mitigating the development of reductive characters in canned wine
The project aims to develop a detailed understanding of the main drivers behind the formation of reductive characters in canned commercial wines and identify ways to mitigate the risk of their formation post-packaging. This will be delivered through a consortium-based trial that includes financial contributions from major wine producers, based both in Australia and in the USA. It was also supported by a Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) grant through the Enterprise Solution Centre Programme (ESCP), which provided funding for activities up to and including FY20-21.
The key elements of this trial will be:
- to trial the use of wine remediation methods and/or can modifications that can mitigate the risk of formation of reductive characters in canned wines post-packaging.
- to validate the performance of commercial wines in achieving extended shelf life.
Evaluating the impact of wine attributes on aluminium transfer
Previous work has shown that aspects of wine composition, including pH and the concentrations of free sulfur dioxide (SO2), copper, oxygen, chloride and sulfate, can influence the corrosion chemistry at the internal aluminium surface of a can of wine. This can result in the transfer of aluminium into the wine and subsequent reaction with SO2 to produce hydrogen sulfide, despite the presence of a protective barrier film.
Bench-top experimental trials are continuing to provide more data on the extent to which these different wine parameters affect barrier film integrity and the resulting transfer of aluminium, so that strategies can be put in place to minimise the potential formation of H2S in canned wine products. This approach will also include the use of cross-linked polymers (PVI/PVP) to remove copper prior to canning, previously reported as effective.
Developing internal packaging capabilities
AWRI Commercial Services has developed the internal capability to package wine-based products into a variety of different packaging formats over the last twelve months. This includes the installation of a dual counter-pressure filler unit and can seamer unit, for packaging of products into a variety of different can sizes and formats. Much work has been undertaken to optimise the filling and packaging process to ensure best-practice performance can be achieved for carbonation, fill consistency and oxygen management.