Published in Applied Research
Pulsed electric field processing of red grapes

Pulsed electric field (PEF) is a non-thermal technology able to promote color and polyphenols extraction from grape skins. Most of the publications about PEF in winemaking report data concerning international varieties, poorly considering minor cultivars and the medium/long-term effects of the treatment on wine composition during storage. PEF was applied at different specific energies (2, 10, and 20 kJ kg-1) on grapes of the low-color red cv. Rondinella, after crushing-destemming in the study published on Foods.

Pressing yield, the evolution of color, and total phenolic index (TPI) were measured during skin maceration. Moreover, the wines were characterized for basic compositional parameters, color, anthocyanin profile, phenolic composition (glories indices), metal content (Fe, Cr, and Ni), and sensory characters, two and twelve months after the processing, in comparison with untreated samples and pectolytic enzymes (PE). PEF did not affect fermentation evolution, nor did it modify wine basic composition or metal content. Treatments at 10 and 20 kJ kg-1 led to higher color and TPI in wines, in comparison to PE, because of increased content of anthocyanins and tannins. The sensory evaluation confirmed these findings. Modifications remained stable in wines after twelve months. Glories indices and vitisin A content highlighted greater potential stability of wine color in PEF-treated wines.

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