Date de réalisation :
July 2017 – May 2021
- Montpellier University
- Lallemand SAS
Consumer demand is clearly oriented towards quality wines, aromatic, with volume in the mouth (but without bitterness or astringency), providing maximum food safety and ideally without sulfites or fungicides. On the other hand, oenological tannins are plant extracts, essentially composed of polyphenols, a large family of molecules that contribute greatly to the quality of wines. The addition of oenological tannins, allowing both to improve the organoleptic characteristics (increased volume and sweetness in the mouth) and to limit the oxidation of wines, appears as a ‘noble’ alternative to practices less and less desired by consumers (such as the addition of sulfites). Nevertheless, some tannins can bring bitterness and astringency depending on their dosage. On the other hand, the natural complexity of these plant extracts means that their characterization is often partial. This lack of scientific and technical knowledge is reflected in the negative behavior of some winemakers when using these products.
A better knowledge of the composition of existing tannins through the implementation of characterization techniques and a better knowledge of their modes of action is a real asset for the creation of innovative products, which will also give legitimacy to their use. Thus, the approach was to set up a research plan in order to have data to authorize an argument in all objectivity. Secondly, and with the knowledge of the detailed composition of the tannins, the development of innovative extraction and separation techniques would allow a better respect of the initial composition of these extracts (‘soft’ extractions) by obtaining tannins without bitterness or astringency while preserving their antioxidant and/or positive organoleptic properties (sweetness and volume in the mouth).
Taninnov consists of designing new tannins to be marketed in order to respond to consumer demand for quality wines, without bitterness or astringency, providing all the food safety and ideally, without sulfite. Taninnov’s 2 main objectives can be summarized this way:
- To set up characterization methodologies for existing tannins (selected at the beginning of the project) and to adapt them to the tannins developed in the project. The methods used were physicochemical and sensory. These methods not only allow a better description of the tannins worked by IOC but also credit the tannins put on the market.
- • To develop extraction and separation techniques (from the laboratory stage to the industrial stage) allowing to obtain tannic extracts that meet the positive properties requested by the customers (anti-oxidant properties, contribution of sweetness and volume in mouth) while significantly reducing the negative descriptors that some tannins can bring, such as bitterness and/or astringency.
The combination of points 1/ and 2/ allows us to market tannins that are innovative in their design, but also to bring knowledge to our customers. Both points are fully in line with the vision of the oenological specialties that IOC puts on the market and that can be summarized by this sentence: ”We market knowledge”.
Results obtained and perspectives of the project
The expected results were the marketing of at least 2 tannins at the end of the project. We launched the 1st product in 2021 (Essential AntiOxidant) which is an extremely pure walnut tannin, perfectly characterized, both by its composition and by its technical properties. It fully meets the objectives: the 1st is to be active as an antioxidant and the 2nd is to provide neither astringency nor bitterness at the recommended doses. During the 1st year of launch, a turnover of 50K€ was recorded and this turnover is increasing. Thanks to its particularly high antioxidant properties, it allows for less use of sulfites during vinification. Several articles and scientific communications have been published on this work. . At the end of the project, out of the 4 planned hirings, 3 were carried out.
At least 2 other tannins (or tannin-based products from the Taninnov project) are in preparation. These tannin extracts are more dedicated to the organoleptic improvement of wines (sweetness and volume in the mouth) than to the preservation of their oxidation. On the other hand, we continue to accumulate knowledge on Essential AntiOxidant and its protective properties against oxidation. Finally, all the characterization methodologies obtained in this project are a real source of progress that can be applied to other specialties developed by IOC.