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A study identifies microplastics in white wine bottles covered with synthetic corks

A very recent study published by the scientific journal Food Chemistry titled "Identification of microplastics in white wines capped with polyethylene stoppers using micro-Raman spectroscopy" identifies microplastics in white wine bottles covered with synthetic caps.

The microplastics

Global plastic production has reached 348 million tons. Improper management and disposal of plastic waste, as well as fragmentation during use, has led to widespread pollution with plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters known as microplastics. These microplastics contaminate every ocean, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, as well as beach sediments, soils and even the atmosphere. The effects they may have on human intake are still unknown, but previous studies (Senathirajah, K., 2019) have demonstrated the presence of microplastics in products such as mineral water or beers.

In order to minimize its use, more and more countries are adopting policies to reduce production and curb pollution.

Microplastics, also in wine

To carry out the study "Identification of microplastics in white wines capped with polyethylene stoppers using micro-Raman spectroscopy" the presence of microplastics in 26 bottles of white wine capped with polyethylene stoppers was assessed with the aim of developing a method of identification of complex matrices of beverages.

Thanks to the use of filters with micro-Raman spectroscopy, plastic particles could be identified in all but two of the wines. The microplastics in question had an average size of between 122 and 26 micrometres.

The authors state that the identified microplastics cannot be attributed to a specific origin and clarify that no conclusions can be drawn about the presence of high or low concentrations of microplastics in white wines covered with different types of corks in this comment.

The cork

From the ICSuro Foundation we will always recommend a cork as it comes from a natural, organic, non-polluting material that does not generate waste, since from the time it is extracted from the forest until it reaches the industry, all the by-products generated are used. In addition, cork is recyclable and reusable, thus favoring more efficient production and consumption systems and becoming a paradigm of the circular bioeconomy and a sustainable 100% product.

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