Project: Development of a real-time monitoring system to control wine fermentation based on improved biosensor technology

A common experience for winemakers is the slow and/or incomplete consumption of sugars and malic acid by yeast and lactic bacteria during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. These situations lead to sluggish or stuck fermentations, which translates into a decrease in winemaking efficiency, loss in wine quality and eventually, substantial economical loss. These problem fermentations can be caused by various factors, including nutrient limitation, temperature, pH variation, lack of oxygen, presence of toxic compounds and poor ethanol tolerance of the yeast strain (Bisson 1999, Santos et al. 2008). In order to reduce the risk of bad fermentations, winemakers carry out chemical analyses during fermentation to check that the process is occuring as desired. _x000D__x000D_Currently, the fermentation process is monitored by manual sampling of the must or wine product followed by laboratory analysis (off-line analysis) carried out by traditional methods. These methods involve significant costs in terms of the physical transfer of samples to and from wineries to test sites, laboratory equipment, reagents and specialized personnel required to perform the analyses. Consequently, this type of monitoring is time consuming and economically taxing, forcing the number of analyses performed to be kept to the bare minimum. _x000D__x000D_Analytical techniques based on biosensors are booming in different sectors, especially in the health sciences. Among their advantages is they are quick, affordable and do not require specialized personnel. Despite their use in some agrofood industry laboratories, current wine biosensors are not suitable for online use because of their limitations due to shelf life, stability, calibration and reagent needs. _x000D__x000D_In this context, the objective of this project is to develop ONWIO, an online monitoring system based on improved biosensors to measure critical parameters which affect wine quality: _x000D__x000D_- Fructose_x000D_- Glucose_x000D_- Malic acid_x000D_- Lactic acid_x000D_- Polyphenols_x000D_- Free SO2 and molecular SO2_x000D__x000D_ONWIO will resolve the CO limitations that currently face proper fermentation control, by substantially increasing the number of measurements that can be carried out daily and measuring these parameters simultaneously. This system will support and later replace the current system of analysis and control, which is manual and decentralized, so as to obtain a faster, more effective response to the myriad of problems that may occur during fermentation. _x000D__x000D_Some of the objectives that will be achieved through this project are:_x000D__x000D_Strategic Objectives _x000D_- To enhance the performance of the fermentation process allowing producers to keep track not only of the final parameters of the wine but also its evolution, thus allowing them to react immediately to achieve a high quality product._x000D_- To introduce high-tech user-friendly methodologies in the European wine industry to provide wineries with new instruments to increase their competitiveness on the global market._x000D_- To enhance the confidence of the producer who will be subject to less economic loss as a result of problem fermentations._x000D__x000D_Technical Objectives _x000D_-To perform a reliable and robust device for wine fermentation monitoring that provides reliable measurements on schedule and with minimal COtenance._x000D_- To improve existing surface biosensors by means of new enzyme immobilization techniques and new materials that will substantially extend their operational stability and shelf life in order to make them suitable for online use while simultaneously COtaining their low-cost production potential._x000D_-To develop novel nanobiocomposites containing carbon nanoparticles, enzymes and a solid hydrophobic binding matrix (whole-body sensors), to be used as electrode materials so that no basic electrochemical electrode is needed for biosensor production. Thus, the combination of all the aforementioned components within the matrix will improve the sensitivity and selectivity of detection, also allowing the long-term storage of this whole-body type biosensor at room temperature._x000D_- To evaluate improved surface biosensors and whole body biosensors working with a Flow Analysis System(FIA) to perform continuos measurements_x000D__x000D_Project consortium:_x000D_ENSATEC (ES) is a research and development (R&D) company one of whose principal research streams is the development of online measurement systems. Currently, ENSATEC is coordinating the “AQUALITY-On-line industrial water quality analysis system for the rapid and accurate detection of pathogens” project, funded by FP7 (R4SMES)._x000D__x000D_BIOREALIS (SK) is a spin-off company formed out of the University of Bratislava with extensive experience in the field of biotechnology and nanotechnology. It is one of the few companies in Europe that has developed and marketed its own biosensors for wine analysis _x000D__x000D_BODEGAS DEL MEDIEVO (ES) is a Spanish winery located in La Rioja. They are very active in wine R&D and are currently participating in two European projects through the FP7 program (R4SMEs).

Acronym ONWIO (Reference Number: 7839)
Duration 02/12/2013 - 30/11/2016
Project Topic ONWIO will be an computer-integrated online monitoring system based on innovative biosensors designed to measure changes in important wine parameters as they occur in real-time. ONWIO will provide winemakers ultimate control over the fermentation process.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 9

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 ENSATEC S.L. Coordinator Spain
3 BODEGAS DEL MEDIEVO S.L. Partner Spain
3 BIOREALIS S.R.O. Partner Slovakia