jueves, 31 de julio de 2014

We tested the Flextank vessels, now named Flexcube

High-density polyethylene tanks for red wine maturing with oak staves

Recently our group has published the analysis of the performance of the high-density polyethylene tanks from Flextank (Melbourne, Australia). The work has been just accepted in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture where you can read the whole paper Wine evolution and spatial distribution of oxygen during storage in high-density polyethylene tanks.


Porous plastic tanks are permeable to oxygen due to the nature of the polymers with which they are manufactured. In the wine industry, these types of tanks are used mainly for storing wine surpluses. Lately, their use in combination with oak pieces has also been proposed as an alternative to mimic traditional barrel aging.


In this study, the spatial distribution of dissolved oxygen in wine-like model solution, and the oxygen transfer rate (OTR) of high-density polyethylene tanks (HDPE), was analysed by means of a non-invasive opto-luminescence detector. Also, the chemical and sensory evolution of red wine, treated with oak pieces, and stored in HDPE tanks was examined and compared against traditional oak barrel aging. The average OTR calculated for these tanks was within the commonly accepted amounts reported for new barrels. With regards to wine evolution, a number of compositional and sensory differences were observed between the wines aged in oak barrels and those stored in HDPE tanks with oak barrel alternatives.


The use of HDPE tanks in combination with oak wood alternatives is a viable alternative too for ageing wine.