Inhibition of Oenococcus oeni during alcoholic fermentation by a selected Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strain

The use of selected cultures of the species Lactiplantibacillus plantarum in Oenology has grown in prominence in recent years. While initial applications of this species centred very much around malolactic fermentation (MLF), there is strong evidence to show that certain strains can be harnessed for their bio-protective effects. Unwanted spontaneous MLF during alcoholic fermentation (AF), driven by rogue Oenococcus oeni, is a winemaking deviation that is very difficult to manage when it occurs. This work set out to determine the efficacy of one particular strain of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum(Viniflora® NoVA Protect), against this problem in Cabernet Sauvignon must.  The work was carried out at commercial scale and in a winery environment and compared the bio-protective culture with the more traditional approach of reducing must pH by the addition of tartaric acid. The combination of both was also investigated. The concentration of both Oenococcus oeni and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum was determined using qPCR. The adventitious Oenococcus oeni showed the most growth during AF in the control wine, whereas in the wines treated with Lactiplantibacillus plantarum a bacteriostatic effect against this species was observed. This effect was comparable to the wines treated with tartaric acid.  This has particular commercial relevance for controlling the flora in musts with high pH, or when the addition of tartaric acid is either not permitted or is prohibitive for other reasons.

Authors: Andrew Davey1, Thomas Houghton2, Andrea Manzotti3 and Duncan Hamm4

1,2Melbourne Polytechnic, Melbourne, Australia 
3,4Chr. Hansen A/S, Hørsholm, Denmark

Email: gbdha@chr-hansen.com

Keywords: bioprotection ability, qPCR, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, wine fermentation, Oenococcus oeni

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