In the context of trade, wine-growing enterprises are confronted with maximum limits on the content of certain compounds. These limits may be imposed by the Community rules for several substances in the finished product.
OCHRATOXIN A (OTA)
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a toxin produced by certain fungi belonging to the genera Aspergillis and Penicillium. This mycotoxin has been shown to be nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, teratogenic and carcinogenic to animals and has been classified as a possible carcinogen to humans. OTA occurs in a variety of foods, including beer and wine.
Several surveys on the presence of OTA in wines have been conducted worldwide. The proportion of wines in which OTA is detected is very high (above 50%) in some countries (especially in the Mediterranean basin) although only a few wines contained concentrations exceeding the limitation imposed by the EU (2.0 ng/ml).
OTA levels decrease in the order red, rosé, and white wine but also with increasing latitude of the producing countries. OTA presence in wines is due to the black aspergilli, mainly A. carbonarius, which can grow on grapes in the vineyards and produce the toxin. At grape crushing, the juice can be contaminated with the toxin which is then transferred to wine, acquiring a stable form. Pre-and-post-harvest treatments are being investigated to diminish contamination of OTA in wines.
There is limited information on the conditions that favour the development of infection in grapes. The incidence of infection, and hence contamination of grapes and wine with OTA seems to be infrequent and irregular, where pre-vintage conditions, viticultural and winemaking practices may influence the incidence of OTA contamination.
The EU has modified existing regulations, setting a limit of 2 ng/ml in wine. This is to take effect from the 2005 harvest
Levels of biogenic amines are not regulated at Community level.
Biogenic amines are basic nitrogen compounds that can have toxicological effects on human health when they are present at significant levels in foods and beverages.
Biogenic amines produce during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, yeast autolysis and wine aging. They are mainly produced by lactic acid bacteria. The content biogenic amines can be considered as a marker of the quality of hygiene in the cellar. Red wines are usually richer in amines than white.
Good winemaking practices, such as: use of selected bacteria, follow-up of the malolactic fermentation to avoid any microbiological evolution undesirable, microbiological stabilization of the wines at the end of the malolactic fermentation in order to avoid degradation of other compounds than malic acid, use of techniques adapted to the process and preventing microbiological evolutions (filtration, flash pasteurization) could limit biogenic amines concentration.
The major toxicological implications are related to aromatic amines, such as histamine, tyramine, and 2-phenylethylamine; nevertheless, for these amines it is quite difficult to establish the exact threshold of toxicity, which depends on the efficiency of the detoxification mechanisms of different individuals. However, some countries have set limits for histamine in wine ranging from 2 to 10 mg/L, while for tyramine levels exceeding 10 mg/L in beverages should be considered unsafe.
Several other amines may be found in wine, among them polyamines that could enhance the adverse effect of aromatic amines, or cause negative consequences on wine aroma. Moreover, spermine and spermidine, that have secondary group, are involved in nitrosamine formation, compounds with a known cancerous action.
Volatile amines, such as methylamine and ethylamine, have not a toxic action, but can exert a negative effect on wine aroma.
Biogenic amines usually found in wine are cadaverine, histamine, 2-phenylethylamine, putrescine and tyramine; agmatine and ethanolamine can be abundant, but they are generally little investigated.
Ethyl carbamate content is not regulated at Community level.
However, the OIV “recommends to member states to follow all practices appropriate to minimize the formation of ethyl carbamate “. In addition, Canada and the United States have set maximum levels for ethyl carbamate in the wines, respectively 30 and 15 μg / L.
Ethyl carbamate can be formed during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation and wine aging. Ethyl carbamate is formed from salted urea by yeasts that degrade arginine and by bacteria that consume arginine during malolactic fermentation. The main ways to limit its content are: reasoning of nitrogen inputs to the vineyard, limitation of the enrichment of musts with nitrogen to the strict minimum, inoculation with strains of yeasts and poorly producing bacteria, limiting the exposure of wines to high temperatures during transport and storage, treatment if necessary with urease (urea content greater than 1 mg / L).
The maximum level of lead in wine is fixed at 0.20 mg / L (Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 as amended). It is set at 0.15 mg / L by the OIV.
The lead enrichment of wine is mainly related to the wine material. In case of contamination, it will be necessary to identify the cause and eliminate it (connection, pump, weld, accessories…).
Note: the various regulations of the materials in contact also limit the migration of the lead via materials and equipment.
However, in view of the regulatory measures taken in recent years, the lead in wines is in constant decline.
Lead must be banned in all its forms: wine equipment, pipes, fittings, faucets.
Wine during its conservation can be enriched in copper by contact with the materials in copper, bronze, brass, and by the use of copper salts as fining agents to remove reduced sulphur off odours There is no health risk in wines but it is considered that beyond 1 mg / L, there is a significant risk of copper instability problem.
Bronze or brass materials must be replaced because they can give way to wine lead and copper The OIV recommends maximum zinc levels of 5 mg / L and cadmium of 0.01 mg / L for wines.
OENOLOGICAL PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS
The list of products and oenological treatments authorized is given by the regulations Community Regulation (EC) No 606/2009 of 10 July 2009, Annex I-A). and specified in The International Codex of Oenological Practices of the OIV brings together oenological practices which are recommended at international level by the OIV but have no legal effect in the EU. Raw materials and inputs from organic farming are subject to specific regulations (Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007).
Oenological products and treatments must meet the criteria of purity and specifications as defined by different Regulations (Reg (EU) No 1333/2008, Regulation (EU) 231/2012 and Order of 19 October 2006 modified), or failing that in the International Oenological Codex of the OIV (Regulation (EU) No 606/2009, Article 9 on the use of processing aids).
The proper use of oenological products and treatments helps to limit the risk associated with dioxins, trace metals, sulphites and cyanide derivatives. (Annex IV and V p163, 165, 177 and 180)
Traceability of oenological products must be ensured.
(lot number expiry date Optimum (DLUO), storage conditions and integrity of packaging). Comply the recommendations indicated on the product packaging.
The oenological treatments must be considered and justified according to the state grapes and the type of wine to obtain. Their implementation or not and the dose to be used are defined each year and for each quality of raw material.
LIMITATIONS TO BE RESPECTED
Products such as sulphate, bisulfite and ammonium phosphate, hydrochloride thiamine, potassium metabisulfite, citric and ascorbic acids, potassium sorbate, dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC), metatartaric acid, citrate and copper sulfate, coals for oenological use, cellulose gums are subject to maximum regulated and / or residual maximum levels in the finished product (Regulation (EC) No 606/2009).
The official methods of analysis are given in the Commission communication European Commission No 2010 / C 43/01.
Sulphites are one of the dangers to watch in the wine industry.
The wine sector must product safe products, containing a contaminant to an amount unacceptable from the public health viewpoint and when in particular at a toxicological level, is not to be placed on the market.
Contaminant levels must be kept as low as can reasonably be achieved following recommended good working practices.
Maximum levels must be set for certain contaminants in order to protect public health.
- COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 579/2012 of 29 June 2012 amending Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 laying down certain detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 as regards protected designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector products.
- Grimanis A.P., Vassilaki-Grimani M., Kanias G.D. Certain Elements in Greek wines, Nuclear Research Center Democritos.
- Galgano, Fernanda & Caruso, Marisa & Favati, Fabio. (2009). Biogenic amines in wines: A review. Red Wine and Health. 173-203.
- Evaluation grid for the choice of oenological practices of the IFV: http://www.vignevin.com/pratiques-oeno/
- IFV leaf Foliar nitrogen in the vine: why, how http://www.vignevin.com/publications/brochures-techniques/fertilisation-de-lavigne.html
- Normative publications of the OIV (International Oenological Codex, Compendium of Methods analysis of musts and wines, International Code of Oenological Practices http://www.oiv.int/oiv/files/5%20-%20Publications/5%20-201%%% 20Publications 20OIV / EN / CODE_2015_FR.pdf
- Rufino Mateo, Ángel Medina, Eva M. Mateo, Fernando Mateo, Misericordia Jiménez,An overview of ochratoxin A in beer and wine,International Journal of Food Microbiology,Volume 119, Issues 1–2,2007, Pages 79-83.
- The Australian Wine Research Institute www.awri.com.au
- Soufleros, E. H., Tricard, C., & Bouloumpasi, E. C. (2003). Occurrence of ochratoxin A in Greek wines. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 83(3), 173-179.