Malolactic Fermentation of Wines

Vjera Runjić-Perić

Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb,
Pierottijeva 6, 41000 Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received November 9, 1992
Accepted February 18, 1993


Malolactic fermentation is a bacterial fermentation which occurs in wines and results in the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid and CO2 Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which are responsible for this process belong to the genera Leuconostoc, Pediococcus and Lactobacillus. The growth of LAB in wine is often limited by nutritional factors and physicochemical factors such as storage temperature, low pH, and alcohol as well as sulphur dioxide concentrations. Recently, the investigations in this area have focussed on physiological and biochemical properties which determine the ability of malolactic bacteria to grow in wines, and on the biochemical mechanisms by which these bacteria affect the wine quality. Such fundamental knowledge is now becoming increasingly important because the wine industry is moving in the direction of controlled malolactic fer-mentation with specific strains of malolactic bacteria. These basic informations will also indicate the conditions under which lactic acid bacteria could be most efficiently used in the winery.

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