Posted on 29 February 2012.
By definition only those beverages which are obtained through fermentation of grapes are called wines. Those which are produced from rice or starchy raw materials are called rice wine, sake or barley wine. Those wines which are produced from any other thing are called fruit wines.
The pros and cons of chemicals in fermentation process
Fermentation was used in ancient times to prevent food from getting spoiled. Today, it is better known for the addition of alcohol than anything else. The alcohol percentage in the wine is due to the fermentation started and supported by the sugar. In order to prevent the growth of the toxic organisms, the modern world adds sulphur dioxide to the wine. The advantages of this additive are that it is an excellent anti-oxidant which can totally stabilize the wine fermentation and prevent damage.
However, the disadvantages of this added chemical is found in the possibility of triggering acute allergies in people who consume the wine. Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache and even the triggering of asthma. Since, all the above symptoms are very serious, the adding of chemicals to stabilize the fermentation process has been reduced and even banned in some places.
The pros and cons of natural fermentation
Most people all over the world will always prefer one hundred per cent natural way of fermentation of the wine. Most of the time, it is indeed that greatest gift from Gods. However, there are times when uncontrolled growth of microbes influence the process of fermentation and alter the taste, color and texture of the wine, completely ruining it.
While searching for natural ways to stop wine for spoilage researchers have found lactic acid bateria, also known as LAB as one of the most promising types of bacteria that can fight against the harmful micro-organisms quite effectively and hence, protect the wine from any further damage. Since it is natural, it is accepted happily by all the organic enthusiasts all over the world.
There is only one concern – these types of bacteria do not act on gram-negative bacteria, for example moulds and yeasts. Hence, if these are present and you consume the wine, you will fall sick. However, if you measure the odds, it will be very rare that they reach to such an extent.
Both the processes are useful in their own way. However, since the world is moving away from chemicals and their usage in food, it is far more preferable to use he natural way to start fermentation, and the stop it.
The main concerns in using either of the systems for fermentations and controlling the bacterial growth, is public safety. If safety is assured, then everything will be perfect. This will also assure higher quality, and will demand a higher price as well. Once the natural preservatives (in the form of friendly bacteriocins) then the Sulphur dioxide can be reduced or even eliminated from he wine production, other than using it in a very limited condition as an anti-oxidant.