Scientific studies have shown that PEF treatment has a significant effect (increased yield, reduced MT, enhanced AC, CI, and TPI) on the must at e-field 1.2 to 7 kV/cm, treatment time (Tt) of 5 to 25 ms and energy input of 4 to 50 kJ/kg.
During harvest season 2020 OptiCept has established a scientific protocol to test a CEPT® unit model at the site of Peche Rouche at INRAE.
The National Institute for Agricultural Research, Food and Environment (INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE POUR L’AGRICULTURE, L’ALIMENTATION ET L’ENVIRONNEMENT) – Centre Occitane Montpellier – France.
The INRAE is one of the most worldwide recognized and respected Institute for oenological applications.
The objective of the trials has been to test the impact of pulsed electric fields on extraction, press yields, and microbiological concentration in must and relative vinification as the quality of finished products.
White winemaking process trials were carried out by a traditional hydraulic soft press from a prominent supplier. Two varieties, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, were compared.
Red winemaking process trials were carried out on two varieties as Merlot and Syrah through 4 different processes as:
- Standard red winemaking process: vatting / alcoholic fermentation/press / malolactic fermentation;
- Flash release: Flash release (vacuum) / press / liquid phase alcoholic fermentation / malolactic fermentation;
- Thermo-treatment / alcoholic maceration/press / malolactic fermentation ;
- Pulsed Electric Fields process: pump / CEPT device / alcoholic fermentation/press / malolactic fermentation.
For CEPT a commercial unit juiceCEPT® model Thor at 4 KWH was installed during the harvest season setting process parameters at 16 kJ/kg with a throughput of 600 kg/h of the must.
Preliminary results show how CEPT® could be a reliable technology in winemaking. A detailed scientific report will be published at the end of the laboratory analysis.
In general, there has not been an impact on sugar concentration, pH, total acidity, and nitrogen (slight improvement) but CEPT® can increase the total polyphenol index and anthocyanins. The stability studies after six months from bottling will confirm the benefit of such technology on color improvements and aroma enhancement also comparing varietal with fermentative flavors.