Two New Products Stabilize Tartrates in Wine

 wine cold stabilization zenith enartis
This chart from Enartis compares the costs of using the new potassium polyaspartate products (KPA), compared to other cold-stabilization methods: GA = Gum Arabic; MP = Mannoprotein; CMC = Carboxymethyl cellulose; MTA = metatartaric acid; CE = Cation Exchange Resins -- Electrodialysis; Cold = Traditional cold method.
Sacramento, Calif.—Enartis USA announced two new products designed to improve the process of cold stabilizing wines and will present them Jan. 24 at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento. The two patented products, Zenith Uno and Zenith Color, have the potential of changing the way wine is processed.

The company claims the new products will make cold stabilization easier, faster and cheaper than before, adding that wineries will be able to bring many different types of wine to market more quickly.

Zenith Uno is designed to cold stabilize all types of wine, while Zenith Color can also stabilize the anthocyanins in red wines. Both products are composed of potassium polyaspartate (KPA), the active ingredient in a polymer of aspartic acid. The company adds gum arabic (Acacia verek) to Zenith Color to stabilize and protect the color in red wines. The mode of action of KPA is to envelop the tartaric molecules as a “colloid protector” so that the tartaric acid bases never get close enough to initiate crystallization.

Rates of addition are 100 ml/HL for Zenith Uno and 200 ml/HL for Zenith Color. A drop in conductivity of less than 3% signals cold stability. Enartis USA noted one caveat: The wines need to be heat stable before addition of either compound.

Both Zenith Uno and Zenith Color have been approved for use by the International Organization of Vine and Wine as well as several other international wine regulatory organizations and approved for use in winemaking by the European Union as of Oct. 28 this year. The products are currently under review by the FDA for use in the United States; as part of that review, a number of U.S. wineries are conducting trials. Enartis has provided Wines & Vines with test samples of Zenith Uno and Zenith Color for evaluation, and the results from these trials will be published in an upcoming issue. Initial reports indicate the products have proved to be effective in cold stabilization. Enartis USA said it anticipates the approval of both Zenith Uno and Zenith Color in the near future.

From zero to Zenith
To create the two products, KPA is made by first producing the monomer through a fermentation process. Next, an intermediate compound, polysuccinimide, is produced using a controlled thermal process, and that compound then polymerizes the monomer L-aspartic acid. The final step uses potassium hydroxide to convert polysuccinimide into KPA.

A number of research stations across Europe have reviewed KPA and directly compared the two Zenith products with virtually all current methods of achieving tartrate stabilization for both red and white grape wines.

In development of Zenith Uno and Zenith Color, scientific partners performed tests comparing KPA to current methods of cold stabilization in one of the most complete studies done on that process.

Compared to the traditional cold-stabilization procedure of reducing the temperature of a wine, KPA is widely more sustainable with respect to greenhouse gas (Kg CO2/hL) emissions. Based on the common methods of achieving cold stability, it was successful and the most sustainable.

Water is another resource that is positively impacted by use of KPA. As with other colloid tartrate stabilization materials, KPA reduces water consumption by five to 20 times compared to more common cold-stabilization processes.

There are other colloid-based products that will compete with KPA. Because of the rapid processing steps when using KPA (and other colloid based products), the cost of labor positively impacts the cost of production for the winery.

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