A Wine Production Yeast for use in Nitrogen-deficient Musts

Hub APTA Background
The initial amount of nitrogen in grape must is vital for the fermentation process, being the second most nutrient consumed by yeast. However, nitrogen sources may be in limited concentrations in lower quality grapes. Slow or stopped fermentations due to low nitrogen content in the must and the inability of organic yeast to consume it, is one of the biggest problems affecting the quality of wine. Nowadays the procedures used to avoid this issue increase the production cost and have not been able to solve this situation and some of them can cause unwanted side effects.
Based on this issue, the team at Centro de Estudios en Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos (CECTA), at Universidad de Santiago discover a population of non-transgenic yeast strains, genetically enhanced to produce wine from nitrogen-deficient musts.
Technology Overview
Non-transgenic yeast strains of Saccaromyces cerevisiae (identified as ‘686’), genetically enhanced to produce wine from nitrogen-deficient musts, as a product of a genetic enhancement program for the efficient use of natural nitrogen sources in musts. This strain has already been tested and characterized at laboratory and at semi-industrial level in an Argentinian winery, showing promising results for its scale-up at industrial level.
The strain was evaluated at a semi-industrial level through fermentations in 16 L of Malbec must, evaluating the produced wine through physicochemical and organoleptic analysis, corroborating the results obtained as well as verifying the commercial potential of the strain, by producing wines with a distinctive and attractive organoleptic characteristic when fermenting a must not supplemented with nitrogen.

Benefits

This strain allows to produce premium wine at a commercial level independent of nitrogen levels in the must, without incorporating process modifications.
No need to add external sources of nitrogen, avoiding the production of unwanted compounds and the need to reactivate fermentation, which affect the quality of the wine produced, decreasing its commercial value.
Improves productivity and avoids process stoppages, reducing production costs because no supplement is needed for enzymatic activity.

Applications
These strains can be used by all wine producers in the world, since nitrogen deficiency in musts is a cross-cutting problem in the wine market.
The main wine producing markets worldwide are: North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific.
Opportunity
We are currently seeking strategic partners for licensing or collaborative research to apply and use this strain in the production of commercial wines.

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