European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 225, Issue 5–6, pp 653–663 | Cite as

Development and evaluation of alternative processes for sterilization and deodorization of cork barks and natural cork stoppers

  • Panagiotis Vlachos
  • Adamantia Kampioti
  • Michael KornarosEmail author
  • Gerasimos Lyberatos
Original Paper


Cork taint, one of the most known off-flavours in wine, is usually attributed to the presence of the aromatic compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (2,4,6-TCA) in cork stoppers made from the bark of the cork oak, Quercus suber. There are many major chemical/biochemical pathways through which 2,4,6-TCA can be formed during cork production. The estimated incidence of cork-tainted wine bottles ranges from 2–to 7%, costing global wine industry approximately US$ 10 billion annually. During this study, a laboratory-scale system was designed and constructed, to efficiently treat cork bark and stopper samples using ozone and/or other sterilizing gases, such as steam, via sequential application of pulsed vacuum–pressure cycles. The developed physicochemical processes were studied and evaluated in order to achieve both sterilization conditions and 2,4,6-TCA removal without affecting the mechanical and bottling properties of cork. According to the results, the application of ozone alone seems to be a promising treatment method for cork barks. However, the pulsed treatment ensures both sufficient removal (99%) of both bacteria and moulds from cork stoppers when combined with ozone or steam and satisfactory deodorization of cork stoppers achieving high percentages (90%) of 2,4,6-TCA removal when combined with steam. The operating cost of each alternative process (plain or pulsed, with or without ozone and/or steam) was estimated and compared, in laboratory scale, for the selection of the most efficient process, taking into account technicoeconomical aspects.


Wine Cork stoppers Cork barks Cork taint 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole Sterilization Deodorization 



This work has been supported by the EU “Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources” program: “Innovation in the process of cork production for the elimination of odours responsible for cork taint”, INNOCUOUS project (QLK1-CT-2002-01678).


  1. 1.
    Gibson LJ, Easterling KE, Ashby MF (1980) Proc R Soc Lond Ser A 377:99–117Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Silva Pereira C, Figueiredo Marques JJ, San Romão MV (2000) Crit Rev Microbiol 26(3):147–162Google Scholar
  3. 3., Cork Quality Council Forestville CA, 707-887-0141Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Buser HR, Zanier C, Tanner H (1982) J Agric Food Chem 30:359–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5., Wikipedia, The free encyclopediaGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    QUERCUS (1996) Qualitative Experiments to Determine the Components Responsible and Eliminate the Causes of Undesirable Sensory Characteristics in Drinks Stoppered With Cork, European Union and C. E. Lieges contract No. AIR1-CT92-0372Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Amon JM, Vandepeer JM, Simpson RF (1989) Aust NZ Wine Ind J 4(1):62–69Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Andrew L, Waterhouse and UCD Students of Natural Products of Wine, VEN 219, Viticulture & Enology, UC Davis, 2001, Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mazzeoleni V, Caldenty P, Careri M, Mangia A, Calagrande O (1994) Am J Vitic Enol 45(4):401–406Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hervé E, Price S, Burns G, Weber P (2000) Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tanner H, Zanier C, Buser HR (1981) Schweiz Z Obst Weinbau 117:97–103Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liacopoulos D, Barker D, Howland PR, Alcorso DC, Pollnitz AP, Skouroumounis GK, Pardon KH, McLean HJ, Gawel R, Sefton MA (1999) In: Blair RJ, Sas AN, Hayes PF, Høj PB (eds) Proceedings of the 10th Australian wine industry technical conference, Sydney, pp 224–226Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Peña Neira A, Fernández de Simón B, García Vallejo MC, Hernández T, Cadahía E, Suarez JA (2000) Eur Food Res Technol 211:257–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Heyes N (1995) In: Leske PA, Egligton JM (eds) Proceedings ASVO enology seminar corks and closures. Australian Society of Viticulture and Enology, Adelaide, pp 9–10, 28Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lee TH, Simpson RF (1993) In: Fleet GH (ed) Wine microbiology and biotechnology. Harwood, Chur, Switzerland, pp. 353–372Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Leske PA, Bruer NGC, Sefton MA (1995) In: Leske PA, Egligton JM (eds) Proceedings ASVO enology seminar corks and closures. Australian Society of Viticulture and Enology, Adelaide, pp 24–26Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fuller P (1995) Aust NZ Wine Ind J 10:58–60Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barker DA, Capone DL, Pollnitz AP, McLean HJ, Francis IL, Oakey H, Sefton MA (2001) Aust J Grape Wine Res 7:40–46Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jackson RS (1994) Wine science: principles and applications. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 311–320Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hill JL, Hocking AD, Whitfield FB (1995) Food Chem 54:161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Juanola R, Subirà D, Salvadó V, Garcia Regueiro JA, Anticó E (2005) Eur Food Res Technol 220:347–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Whitfield F (1998) Int J Food Sci Technol 33:31–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Butzke C, Evans TJ, Ebeler SE (1998) In: Waterhouse AL, Ebeler SE (eds) Chemistry of wine flavour, ACS symposium series 714. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 208–216Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    International Standard 10718 Cork stoppers–enumeration of colony-forming units of yeasts, moulds and bacteria capable of growth in an alcoholic medium, Second Edition 2002-08-01, Reference number IS0 10718:2002(E)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Vlachos P, Kampioti A, Kornaros M, Lyberatos G (2005) In Congress: The 4th international conference on instrumental methods of analysis: modern trends and applications, Iraklion Crete, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Vlachos P, Kampioti A, Kornaros M, Lyberatos G (2005) In congress: off-flavours: musty taint in wine and other beverages, Tarragona, SpainGoogle Scholar
  27. 27. (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez ML, Lopez-Ocana L, Lopez-Coronado JM, Rodriguez E, Martinez MJ, Larriba G, Coque JJR (2002) Appl Environ Microbiol 68:5860–5869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Juanola R, Subirà D, Salvadó V, Garcia Regueiro JA, Anticó E (2002) J Chromatogr A 953:207–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Howland PR, Pollnitz AP, Liacopoulos D, McLean HJ, Sefton MA (1997) Aust J Grape Wine Res 3:146–152Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hoffmann A, Sponholz W (1997) Am Lab 29(7):22Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Guzel-Seydima ZB, Greeneb AK, Seydima AC (2004) Lebensm Wiss u Technol 37:453–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rosa Shows Promise, Bark to bottle, Issue 14, May 2003, Scholar
  34. 34.
    International Code of Cork Stoppers manufacture Practices–CELIEGE—5th version 2006Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panagiotis Vlachos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adamantia Kampioti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Kornaros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerasimos Lyberatos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering & Environmental TechnologyDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of PatrasPatrasGreece
  2. 2.Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes (FORTH/ICE-HT)PatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations