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Relationship between the smell of moisture in wine and the environmental pollution of wineries

"Traditionally, in an erroneous way, contamination by the smell of moisture in wine has been associated with corks and, consequently, the term has been used inappropriately cork taste, which has contributed to spreading the idea that contamination by chloroanisoles is always attributed to caps". This is what the article states “Haloanisoles and halophenols in oak wood” published in the January 2022 issue of the Revue des oenologues et des techniques vitivinicoles et oenologiques.

This is the last item to be added to the list of evidence and scientific data that have shown that the true origin of wine contamination by halophenols and haloanisoles is an environmental pollution problem in the wine production chain. Most authors agree that haloanisoles, and in particular chloroanisoles, are the main compounds to which we attribute the smell of dampness and that each of them has a similar aroma with a very low perception threshold.

These molecules, they say, arise from the transformation of odorless halophenols into odorous haloanisoles by the chemical process of methylation in a humid atmosphere and in an environment laden with microorganisms.

They conclude that this environmental contamination of the winery can affect the entire wine production chain, which is why the Cork Center Laboratory of the Institut Català del Suro Foundation recommends doing so preventive controls of halophenols and haloanisoles in the barrels and other dry materials in the cellar, such as pallets or cardboard boxes, so that these are not transmitted to the wine. Likewise, microbiological contamination in the cellar can also generate aromas that adsorb to the barrel throughout its useful life. For this reason, it is also important to monitor the aromas of the wine resulting from the aging process. The Cork Center Laboratory has the equipment and experience to offer these analyzes in a fast and efficient way, with very low thresholds of perception while advising on the resolution of possible incidents that may arise.

A special service is also offered for the analysis of environmental pollution in environments that allows the precise determination of haloanisoles and halophenols that may be present.

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