Brettanomyces susceptibility to antimicrobial agents used in winemaking: in vitro and practical approaches
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Brettanomyces bruxellensis is a spoiling yeast responsible for developing off-odors in wine described as “Brett-character.” The objective of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of four enological compounds against Brettanomyces: potassium metabisulfite (PMB), chitosan, enological tannins and dimethyl dicarbonate. Minimal inhibitory concentrations and minimal biocidal concentrations of the antimicrobial agents were determined, and a comparative study between B. bruxellensis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae was performed under in vitro controlled conditions. All tested compounds showed inhibitory effect on the growth of Brettanomyces. Chitosan and the enological tannins showed selectivity against Brettanomyces, and PMB showed the highest efficacy in concentrations under the currently permitted limits for enological use; consequently, PMB was further evaluated in red wines naturally contaminated by Brettanomyces. Volatile phenol concentrations were determined after long-term storage of the wines treated with PMB. A direct correlation was demonstrated between the concentrations of 4-ethylphenol, 4-ethylguaiacol, 4-propylguaiacol and Brettanomyces populations in the studied wines, and these parameters correlated inversely with the concentrations of PMB employed. This is the first time that 4-propylguaiacol is shown to correlate with Brettanomyces population in wine. It is of enological significance that a concentration of 100 mg/L of total PMB efficiently prevented Brettanomyces growth in the aging red wines of our study and that volatile phenol concentrations were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in those poorly protected wines.
KeywordsBrettanomyces Potassium metabisulfite Volatile phenols Chitosan Enological tannins Dimethyl dicarbonate
This research was financially supported by Grant CENIT-2008/1002 of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation MICINN-CDTI. Cauré B. Portugal was a contractual researcher supported by Grant CENIT-2008/1002.
Conflict of interest
Compliance with Ethics Requirements
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.
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