South Africa has become the first country to approve a new hi-tech process which uses light energy to purify wine – and claims to dramatically reduce the need to add sulphur.
The SurePure system transmits ultra-violet energy to deactivate microbes found in liquids, eliminating potential harmful effects by stopping the microbes from replicating.
The process, already used in the juice, dairy and beverage industries, claims to have no residual effect on the wine itself. It also claims to ‘dramatically decrease’ the need to add sulphur, which has been blamed by some for allergic reactions when drinking wine.
Franschhoek wine estate L’Ormarins has already selectively employed the technology in winemaking during the 2009 vintage, but now it has been approved for use by the South African Wine & Spirit Board.
A board spokesperson said it supported the concept, and would now recommend to South Africa’s Agriculture Ministry that it should amend the regulations of the Liquor Product Act.
‘This underscores the South African wine authorities’ commitment to ensuring that new technology is placed at the disposal of local winemakers, enabling them to compete globally at levels of excellence,’ the board added.
SurePure marketing executive Steve Miller said companies like SurePure had the opportunity to change the world – ‘once the food industry politics have been sorted out’.
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Written by Richard Woodard