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Memstar wows judges with competition triumph
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As proud sponsors of the inaugural Wine Industry Suppliers Association (WISA) WOW Award, Grapegrower & Winemaker congratulates Memstar as the winner with the company’s Alcohol Adjustment (AA) innovation. The prize? A trip to the SIMEI exhibition in Milan in November 2007.
The ability to lower alcohol levels in wine is important for the wine industry and Memstar was able to demonstrate that in the past six months with about 50 million litres of wine treated through the AA process.
In 2005–06 Memstar processed 5–6 million litres so in terms of a measurable and demonstrable WOW factor, and impact on the wine industry, that growth is what got Memstar the judge’s vote.
The quest to please the palates of winelovers is never ending. Some like robust reds, while others prefer a fruity white, and there are some who prefer wines that don’t pack such an alcoholic punch. That was the cue for Memstar to become acutely involved in the wine industry.
It embarked on the trail of lowering the alcoholic level of wines but without lowering the quality and it found the answer with the innovative use of a specialised membrane.
In the past two years the technology has rapidly been embraced by winemakers around the world. In the past year the technology has been used in Australia, New Zealand, United States (Oregon, California), Chile, and South Africa. In June the technology was undergoing trials in France and similar trials are scheduled to be held in Argentina.
“The technology enables the energy-efficient reduction of alcohol in wines without heating the wine, Memstar business development manager Tim Grosser said.
“It is done entirely onsite with minimal wine volume reduction.
“It reduces alcohol concentration without damaging flavour and aroma compounds.
“It is an economic process and the energy consumption is very low compared to traditional alternatives.”
The technology makes innovative use of a specialised membrane.
“This membrane is a hydrophobic hollow fibre or perstractive membrane,” Grosser said.
“Memstar applied this technology to use a strip water to remove alcohol from wine RO permeate (liquid to liquid). By applying RO permeate to this perstractive membrane the membrane performs very well with very infrequent cleaning required and stable performance.
“This approach also ensures that, essentially, only alcohol is removed from the wine with no loss of flavour or aroma compounds,” Grosser said.
The full article can be found in the July issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker.
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