Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 12, pp 5173–5183 | Cite as

Monitoring the impact of an aspartic protease (MpAPr1) on grape proteins and wine properties

  • Louwrens Wiid Theron
  • Marina Bely
  • Benoit DivolEmail author
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


The perception of haze in wine is brought about when pathogenesis-related proteins become unstable and aggregate, subsequently resulting in crosslinking until it develops into light-dispersing particles. Elimination of these proteins is usually achieved via bentonite fining, which, although effective, suffers from several drawbacks. The utilization of proteases has been proposed as an ideal alternative. In a previous study, an aspartic protease (MpAPr1) from the yeast Metschnikowia pulcherrima was purified and shown to be partially active against grape proteins in synthetic medium. In this study, the effects of pure MpAPr1 supplemented to Sauvignon Blanc juice on subsequent fermentation were investigated. The juice was incubated for 48 h and thereafter inoculated with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Results revealed that the enzyme had no observable effects on fermentation performance and retained activity throughout. Protein degradation could be detected and resulted in a significant modification of the wine composition and an increase in the presence of certain volatile compounds, especially those linked to amino acid metabolism.


Metschnikowia pulcherrima Aspartic protease Grape proteins Protein haze Wine 



The authors thank the Central Analytical Facility, Stellenbosch University, for their technical support.


The author would like to thank the National Research Foundation of South Africa (UID: 88819) and Winetech for their financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture and OenologyStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Univ. Bordeaux, Unité de Recherche ŒnologieVillenave d’Ornon CedexFrance

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