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Showing posts from February, 2011

An end to wine headaches at last

Thank food biotechnologist Hennie van Vuuren at the University of British Columbia for finding the solution to one of the most vexing problems for would-be wine lovers: the headache that so often accompanies wine drinking for up to 30% of the population. These unfortunate folks are sensitive to compounds known as biogenic amines such as histamine, which can also impart off-putting flavors to wines. (It isn't the sulfites.) I have long thought that there was a huge opportunity for someone to crack this particularly hard nut and figure out how to make low-amine wines.

van Vuuren apparently had the same idea, and over the past several years he has been developing a strain of yeast for wine fermentation that produces low levels of amines. The yeast, known as Malolactic ML101, has already been approved by Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration. According to the developers of the new yeast, Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, there is a good chance you have had wine produced wit…