FLOW CYTOMETRY, A POWERFUL AND SUSTAINABLE METHOD WITH MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS IN ENOLOGY
Flow cytometry (FCM) is a powerful technique allowing the detection, characterization and quantification of microbial populations in different fields of application (medical environment, food industry, enology, etc.). Depending on the fluorescent markers and specific probes used, FCM provides information on the physiological state of the cell and allows the quantification of a microorganism of interest within a mixed population. For 15 years, the enological sector has shown growing interest in this technique, which is now used to determine the populations present (of interest or spoilage) and the physiological state of microorganisms at the different stages of winemaking.
By studying the other quantification methods now routinely available in enology and comparing them to our FCM method, we show that alternative methods only provide a partial, and sometimes erroneous, view of the microbial populations. Coupled with the use of different markers (vitality markers and probe specific to B. bruxellensis), FCM allows the precise and specific quantification of cells and provides information on their physiological state. In addition, it is the only method that provides a comprehensive view of the present populations, all this in a short time and at a controlled cost.
These advantages make it a method of choice for multiple technical applications in wine microbiology such as the prevention of spoilage during aging, the control of fermentation activity or the quality control of barrel cleaning protocols.
Finally, aside from its technical interest, FCM responds to a major challenge for the wine industry: the commitment to sustainable development. Based on recent work evaluating the environmental impact of analysis techniques, we show through an original comparative study of B. bruxellensis quantification methods that FCM is a more sustainable technique than its alternatives usually used in the sector.
Issue: OENO Macrowine 2023
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Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Flow cytometry, Speciﬁc quantiﬁcation, Sustainable analysis