Assessing the Effectiveness of Electrodialysis in Controlling Brettanomyces Growth in Wine
Brettanomyces yeast can negatively impact the quality and stability of wines, posing a significant challenge to winemakers.  This study aims to develop novel management practices to limit Brettanomyces impact on wines by evaluating the effectiveness of electrodialysis (ED) technology in removing magnesium (Mg2+) from wine to prevent the development of Brettanomyces yeast. The ED technique utilizes charged membranes to extract ions from the wine, and it is considered an alternative to cold stabilization that requires less energy. 
Building upon previous research that underscored the pivotal influence of magnesium on Brettanomyces proliferation, the objective of this study was to evaluate and authenticate the effectiveness of ED as a means of diminishing Mg2+levels and efficiently inhibiting the development of Brettanomyces in wine. Pilot-scale trials were conducted, and the results showed that the use of ED reduced the Mg2+ content in wine. At 40% intensity, the ED removed 66% of the Mg2+, reducing it from 93 mg/L to 32 mg/L. The use of higher intensities led to a further reduction in Mg2+ levels, with 70% intensity reducing the Mg2+ content to 7.5 mg/L.
Furthermore, an ongoing study is assessing the sensitivity of Brettanomyces yeast to different intensities of ED treatment to determine the optimal treatment intensity that can prevent its proliferation in wine. If successful in preventing Brettanomyces growth could lead to the commercial-scale treatment of wines using ED technology, providing winemakers with valuable technology to manage spoilage.
The results of this study could have significant implications for the wine industry, providing beneficial alternatives for managing spoilage and improving the quality of wine.
The ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production
The Australian Wine Research Institute
Pernod Ricard Winemakers
1) Bartel, C., et al. (2021). “Adaptive evolution of sulfite tolerance in Brettanomyces bruxellensis.” FEMS Yeast Research 21(5), https://doi.org/10.1093/femsyr/foab036.
2) El Rayess, Y. and M. Mietton-Peuchot (2016). “Membrane Technologies in Wine Industry: An Overview.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 56(12): 2005-2020, https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2013.809566.
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1 Wine Science Discipline, School of Agriculture Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, South Australia 5064, Australia
2 Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, The University of Adelaide, Urrbrae, South Australia 5064, Australia
3 Pernod Ricard Winemakers, 1914 Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat, SA 5352, Australia
4 The Australian Wine Research Institute, PO Box 197, Glen Osmond, Adelaide, SA 5064, Australia
Contact the author*
Brettanomyces, electrodialysis technology, magnesium, wine stability, microbiological stability, spoilage management