a) Regulations and general recommendations
Traceability: Traceability of materials and objects must be ensured at all stages to facilitate checks, removal defective products, consumer information and the determination of responsibilities.
The operator must ensure the traceability of materials in contact with foodstuffs.
The supplier is also subject to the traceability of the material but also of its constituents. This obligation concerns equipment, dry materials, as well as fixed installations such as than the vats.
“… all materials and articles intended to come into contact, directly or indirectly, with foodstuffs must be sufficiently inert not to yield to these foods constituents in a quantity likely to present a danger to human health, to cause a modification unacceptable composition of the food or altering their organoleptic characteristics.
The materials and articles used must comply with the requirements of Regulation (EU).
The migration of restricted substances present in plastic materials or rubbers must be tested for specific migrations with simulants or directly in foodstuffs
Some characteristics of wines and wine spirits (low pH, alcohol, etc) make them a particularly aggressive environment for some materials. It is therefore necessary to ensure, in the absence of specific regulations, the ability to foodstuffs materials in accordance with contracted specifications with the hardware vendor and / or the service provider. These specifications should specify ideally:
– the conditions of application of materials in the case of coatings,
– the characteristics of the products produced (pH, alcohol content, SO2 content, etc.),
– the operations carried out on the product in contact with the equipment, in particular the treatments chemical (sulphiting) and thermal
– the method of cleaning provided for the equipment and the detergents / biocides to be used,
– the contact time of the product with the equipment,
– the contact temperature,
– the duration of use of the material or equipment over time, during which its characteristics are ensured: the use of a material for too long a period can lead to more migration, not just when physically degraded (especially industrial equipment: tanks, pipes …).
In view of these specifications:
– the supplier will be able to guarantee the inertia of the material in contact with the product developed
– the operator will be able to justify to the authorities that this point is well controlled.
In the absence of specific regulations on filtration membranes (tangential filtration, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, electrodialysis) and ion exchange resins, the use of this type of specifications is recommended.
For plastic materials, a declaration of conformity is detailed specifically by the
b) Stainless steel
Stainless steels are frequently used in the wine sector, mainly because of their chemical inertness and their ability to clean. They are used for the tanks in many cellars but they are found at all stages of the production activity: transport containers, table sorting machines, destemmers, press, cheat exchangers, pipe fittings…
Cleaning products must be accompanied by a technical sheet specifying the conditions of use on stainless steels, in particular with regard to chlorinated derivatives. Bleach and hydrochloric acid are not recommended.
The use of metal brushes and pads, abrasive brushes and powders, Any tool that can scratch surfaces is not recommended.
Extended contacts with ordinary steels are not recommended concrete and mild steel
Concrete must be protected from wine, which is an aggressive product because of its low pH. In the absence of coating, tartaric acid franking is required. This franking does not make it possible to obtain good hygiene conditions (development of micro-organisms, infiltrations of wines). Concretes should preferably be coated. The coatings concerned are mainly epoxy resin and glass tiles.
d) Tank coatings: epoxy resin, tiles
Epoxy resin: The epoxy coating of the vats improves hygiene during storage wines. The use of this coating requires the respect of a certain number of precautions. The epoxy resin used must be “suitable for food contact” and adapted to the nature of the product contained. The resin should be applied by a professional applicator recommended by the formulator. The constituents of the resin (phthalates, BADGE, NOGE and BFGDE1 …) must especially comply with the obligations of the EU Regulations
Annually, check the integrity of the coating is required.
Application protocols, drying times and conditions (aeration) must be respected before using the tank and rinsing is essential. More attention should be given to resins for storage tanks products with more than 15% alcohol by volume due to the extraction capacity. The resin must be adapted to the TAV. There are several types depending on whether the TAV is less than 15%, less than 30-40% or less than 95% .It is imperative that this criterion be noted on the order. The vats must not be used for the storage of products other than those provided for in departure. For example, alcohol for mutage should not be stored in tanks intended for wine conservation. In general, precautions should be taken to avoid degradation of the coating during cleaning operations. Avoid high pressure cleaners, alkalis or acids strong, temperatures above 50 ° C as well as shocks on epoxy coatings.
These recommendations should be included in manufacturers’ data sheets.
e) The wood
As a container (tanks, barrels …), the wood is used ancestral way to contact with products from the wine sector. Wood is a material permeable to gases and for which the exchange of molecules with wines and wine spirits is sought in the context tradition of the wine sector. The wood must be suitable for food contact with regard to unintentional migrations.
Wooden containers require maintenance and rigorous hygiene. To ensure a good cellar hygiene, it is advisable to eliminate all molded, moldy barrels or rotting. Regular quality control of wines stored in wooden containers is also essential.
Before filling with wine, the wooden containers must be: rinsed, descaled, disinfected if necessary, felt and checked for their tightness.
The maintenance of the containers is more delicate in case of non-continuous use. Take it into account and adjust the maintenance accordingly. If possible, leave them empty for the shortest possible time.
Wood treatment and preservation products: Wood likely to enter or intended to come into contact with wines should not have is subject to preservation treatments
With regard to premises, particular attention should be paid to any introduction of wooden materials: frames, but also pallets, crates …:
As for other materials in contact, it is advisable to obtain from the supplier a certificate of suitability for food contact with wine or wine spirits, in particular in case of use of reconstituted products.
g) Plastic, elastomers, fiberglass
Plastics, composites and elastomers are of diverse nature. They can be constitutive of the vat room (tanks coated with epoxy resin, plastic wine racks, etc.) or its coating (epoxy resin, repair resin …). They are also the main ones constituents of many materials and objects of the cellar such as: pipes, joints, body of pump, sampling equipment, buckets. Finally, they can be constituent materials of the containers final (glass or PET bottles, wine fountain or “BIB” …), shutters (cap, capsule screws, overcap capsules).
Plastics, composites and elastomers must be suitable for contact with preserved foods.
In fact, the alcohol content strongly influences migration and it will be necessary to adapt the materials depending on the nature of the products preserved (must, wine, mutage alcohol, etc…). They must also have passed the migration tests (phthalates, substances subject to specific migration limits in the regulations applicable to these materials, BADGE …).
The containers (glass or PET bottles, wine fountain or “BIB” …), are the last materials in contact with products before consumption. Special attention must be given to the final container, because wines have no expiry date, can be stored for ages, have low pH and high-alcohol content. The shutters used (stopper, screw cap, overcap caps) must be suitable for contact with wine. This also concerns the plugs in cork, plastics and printing inks used.
The expulsion of the stopper and the explosion of the bottle resulting from the pressure inside the containers are among the dangers to be monitored in the wine sector.
Refrigerant installations must be subject to preventive maintenance. The nature of the fluids used in the heat exchangers must be known. The most used heat transfer fluid in the wine sector is monopropylene glycol. It does not present danger to human health. It is the same for raw water as for chloride calcium (still sometimes used in the disgorging tanks of sparkling wines). On the other hand, monoethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, as well as treated water (anti-algae, antifoam, anti-corrosion, etc) constitute a risk to be controlled specifically. The leakage of heat transfer fluids is one of the dangers to be monitored in the wine sector.