terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences 9 2ICGWS-2023 9 Do wine sulphites affect gut microbiota? An in vitro study of their digestion in the gastrointestinal tract

Do wine sulphites affect gut microbiota? An in vitro study of their digestion in the gastrointestinal tract


“Sulphites” and mainly sulphur dioxide (SO2) is by far the most widely used additive (E-220/INS 220) in winemaking and likely the most difficult to replace. The well-known antioxidant, antioxidasic and antimicrobial properties of SO2 make this molecule a practically essential tool, not only in winemaking, but also in the production of other food products. The current trend in winemaking is the reduction of this unfriendly additive due to its negative effects on health and environmental. In particular, it could cause headaches and intolerance/allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Wine is considered one of the major contributors of exposure of SO2 in the adult population, when this beverage is included in the diet. The European Union establishes that the limits for total SO2 content may not exceed 200 mg/L for red wines with a sugar content higher than 5 g/L, whereas the threshold for an adverse reaction varies between 5 and 200 mg/L SO2. The gut microbiome is now considered a therapeutic target for many pathologies and for general health status. Recent research has highlighted the potential of wine to modulate the gut microbiome, mainly attributed to its phenolic content and diversity. To our knowledge, very few studies have addressed the effects of sulphites on the gut microbiota, which could be mediated by the dietary matrix. Therefore, the novel question that arises is whether the presence of sulphites in wine may also affect our gut microbiome. To disclose this matter, we have designed an in vitro study based on the simulated gastrointestinal digestion in the simgi® simulator of the following comparative wines: a) synthetic wine, b) synthetic wine fortified with SO2 (200 mg/L), c) young red wine (2,8 mg/L of free SO2), and d) young red wine fortified with SO2 (200 mg/L). The following analyses were performed in the wines after intestinal and colonic (0, 6, 24, and 48h) digestions: free and bound SO2 by the PAUL-Rankine method (OIV-MA-AS323-04A), microbial plate counting, qPCR and 16S rDNA sequencing, microbial ammonium production, short chain fatty acids (SCFA) by SMPE-GCMS, and phenolic metabolites by UPLC-ESI-MSMS. The results indicate that, at least to some extent, the addition of sulphites to wine may have an impact on the gut microbiome, although this may be dependent on the composition of the wine, especially with regard to its phenolic content.

Acknowledgements: MICIN (PID2019-108851RB-C21 Project). The authors would also like to thank R. de Diego for sound technical assistance.


Publication date: October 16, 2023

Issue: ICGWS 2023

Type: Poster


E. Relaño de la Guia1, C. Cueva1, N. Molinero1, M.J.Motilva2,  B. Bartolomé1, M.V. Moreno-Arribas

1Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL), CSIC-UAM, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2Institute of Grapevine and Wine Sciences (ICVV), CSIC-University of La Rioja-Government of La Rioja, 26007 Logroño (La Rioja), Spain

Contact the author*


wine, SO2, gut microbiome, 16S rDNA sequencing, SCFA, phenolic metabolites


2ICGWS | ICGWS | ICGWS 2023 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

The characterization of Vitis vinifera L cv. Cabernet sauvignon: the contribution of Ecklonia maxima seaweed extract

Biostimulants and biofertilizers are considered environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternatives to synthetic fertilizers, plant growth regulators and crop improvement products. Broadly, plant biostimulants are expected to improve nutrient use efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, quality traits and availability of nutrients in the soil or rhizosphere. Currently, seaweed extracts account for more than 33% of the total plant biostimulant market. Within this category, Ascophyllum nodosum (AN), is the most widely studied and applied in biostimulant formulations.

Use of UHPH to improve the implantation of non-Saccharomyces yeasts

Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization (UHPH) is a high-pressure pumping at 300 MPa (>200 MPa) with a subsequent depressurization against a highly resistant valve made of tungsten carbide covered by ceramic materials or carbon nanoparticles. The intense impact and shear efforts produce the nano-fragmentation of colloidal biopolymers including the elimination of microorganism (pasteurization or sterilization depending on in-valve temperature) and the inactivation of enzymes.

Towards a better understanding of cultivar susceptibility to esca disease: results from a pluriannual common garden monitoring

Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) exhibits a high level of genetic and phenotypic diversity among the approximately 6000 cultivars recorded. This perennial crop is highly vulnerable to numerous fungal diseases, including esca, which is a complex vascular pathology that poses a significant threat to the wine sector, as there is currently no cost-efficient curative method[1]. In this context, an effective approach to mitigate the impact of such diseases is by leveraging the crop’s genetic diversity. Indeed, susceptibility to esca disease appears to vary between cultivars, under artificial or natural infection. However, the mechanisms and varietal characteristics underlying cultivar susceptibility to esca are still unknown.

Ability of lactic acid bacterial laccases to degrade biogenic amines and OTA in wine

Two of the most harmful microbial metabolites for human health that can be present in wines and either fermented or raw foods are biogenic amines (BA) and ochratoxine A (OTA). Winemakers are aware of the need to avoid their presence in wine by using different strategies, one of them is the use of enzymes. Some recombinant laccases have been characterized and revealed as potential tools to degrade these toxic compounds in wine[1], specifically biogenic amines[2].

Effect of irrigation in cover cropping vineyards

Cover cropping in vineyard is a sustainable and alternative soil management system to conventional tillage that is gaining more and more importance among winegrowers and is being promoted, among other organizations, by the European Union through the eco-schemes of the Common Agricultural Policy.
However, the use of cover crops in Mediterranean viticultural environments is conditioned, to a large extent, by the availability of irrigation water which, in a context of global warming like the one we are experiencing, must be adjusted to savings strategies, supplying to the vine only what it needs in each moment.