Researchers at the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production have found a way to remove tainted flavours of wine using a novel magnetic polymer. The discovery has the promise of improving the taste of bottles of wine that have been left open too long, as well as removing other unwanted flavours.

By attaching magnetic nanoparticles to polymers and using magnets to remove the polymers, the researchers have been able to remove alkyl methoxypyrazine—which gives the aroma of green capsicum—from a Cabernet Sauvignon, a common flavour that can be out of balance in wine if fruit is picked too early. Taste testers found that the new approach removed these molecules without dampening the wine’s aroma intensity.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor David Jeffery, from The University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, said that these magnetic polymers could also potentially be used to target and remove other wine faults such as smoke and ladybug taints. It may be possible to tune the polymer for other taint compounds, creating a technique which is much more selective than current methods.

The researchers have found that the polymers could be regenerated and used up to five times without losing the ability to extract the targeted compound.

The research team is now investigating how to best commercialise and implement the technique for use in wineries.

Image: Wine tasting.