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The centrifuge decanter : an innovative equipment for continuous must extraction for the elaboration of quality white and rosé wines

Jean-Michel SALMON et al.; INRA Pech-Rouge, France

The development of technological equipment for both qualitative and continuous pressing remains a challenge in the enological field. In this sense, the horizontal screw decanter centrifuge, technology firstly experienced for the extraction of thermo-treated musts, is now also used to separate the must and marc directly from de-stemmed grapes in white and rosé winemaking. This technology is based on the instantaneous separation of the two phases, liquid and solid, by centrifugal force in an extremely short time. 

The major advantage of the decanter centrifuge is the possibility of direct injection of various additives through a metering pump located upstream of the apparatus to control oxidation of the must. In the case of the decanter centrifuge, these antioxidant substances get the opportunity to act just upon the disruption of the grape cell compartmentalization with a very high mixing efficiency. 

This peculiar advantage of the decanter centrifuge technology has been used to test the addition of various antioxidants authorized by the legislation on grape harvest for white and rosé winemaking, by comparison to more conventional pressing technologies 

The obtained results on several grape harvests evidenced that it is possible to use the decanter centrifuge to obtain very little oxidized musts, thus reaching a quality level for white and rosé winemaking. As a matter of fact, the obtained wines were very appreciated for their color and their organoleptic qualities.

These results open new perspectives for the use of decanter centrifuge extraction for a better control of the intensity and color of rosé wines, but also more generally for a better control in amounts of sulfites applied during the phases of prefermentative technological steps.

Finalist of the International OENOPPIA AWARD 2015. The paper reproduced in this video-seminar was presented at the 9th edition of Enoforum (May 5th-7th, 2015, Vicenza, Italy)

Note

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Published on 09/06/2016
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