What is the real problem of a corked wine?
Cork taint refers to a common fault in wine, associated with the presence of haloanisole compounds (particularly, 2,4,6-trichloroanisole or TCA) in large enough concentrations, to degrade the sensorial attributes of wine.
Cork-stoppers are the main TCA contamination source. Even though cork stoppers are already treated in the cork manufacturing plant to prevent cork taint, recontamination occurs unavoidably as a result of the presence of chlorophenolic and other non-biodegradable chemicals in the environment, which are transformed into anisole compounds by metabolic reactions related to the presence of fungi.
Currently, there is not any effective technology in the market to guarantee the absence of haloanisoles in cork-stoppers.
What is the solution to avoid it?
Since January 2011, a consortium of European small and medium-sized enterprises and research and technological development centres are striving for developing the Neatcork technology. This technology aims at providing a homogeneous sterilisation treatment on cork-stoppers to avoid the risk of recontamination.
By performing this treatment immediately before sealing the wine bottles, the Neatcork system assures optimal results without affecting the quality and properties of the cork-stoppers such as dimensional characteristic, humidity and elasticity. Furthermore, no chemical products are used neither harmful residues remain on the cork-stopper.
Therefore, Neatcork is a new environmental-friendly technological solution for European companies desiring to reduce cork taint.
In the near future, Neatcork technology will be industrialised and marketed in the benefit of thousands of European wineries, which will be able to improve the quality of their products and avoid costs associated with unsatisfied consumers.
If the amount of contaminated bottles of wine decreases significantly, other related industries will also take advantage of this improvement.