The use of enzymes in enology has revolutionized the quality of wines. Enzymes can be used at different stages of the production process, depending on the winemaker's desired objectives: clarification of musts, aromatic extraction, color extraction, filterability improvement, and many other activities that allow for maximum enhancement of the assets present in the grapes.
The enzymes that have undoubtedly revolutionized the wine industry are pectolytic enzymes, which include the following activities:
Complex enzymes consisting of these activities are widely used in the wine industry to clarify musts. The aforementioned activities make it possible to develop formulations capable of acting on the simplest musts and easiest grape varieties, but also on the most complex ones (Muscato, Traminer, etc.) and under extreme technological conditions determined by pH, temperature, etc.
Even in different musts and conditions of use, pectins with varying degrees of branching, present in grape skins, are the target. Enzymes, when properly formulated, with the right pectinase activities, not only promote the separation of the lees from the musts, but also increase the extraction of aromatic precursors present in many varieties
Our many years of experience in the wine industry have enabled us to develop pectolytic enzymes with multiple secondary activities, including arabinase and rhamnosidase, that help clarify grapes with highly branched pectins where normal pectolytic enzymes are not as effective. As AEB we have also formulated enzyme blends that, by structuring on PL activities, enable us to clarify musts quickly and at extreme temperatures.
In addition, AEB's enzyme proposal includes specific enzymes for aromatic extraction and enhancement, based on β-glucosidasic and cystein-lyase activities that help to enhance and release aromatic precursors from the grape.
A unique example is ENDOZYM Cat-0, which, thanks to its polygalacturonase and arabanase activities, makes it possible to obtain from press maceration an extraction of the precursors present in the grapes, but without significantly increasing the level of catechins, which would otherwise negatively impact the quality of the musts and consequently the wines obtained.
Other enzymes used in wine production in conjunction with pectinases are cellulases and hemicellulases, which help extract the coloring component from grapes quickly.
Beta-glucanases, on the other hand, improve the filterability of the must by degrading glucans and other fibrous components; or, if otherwise employed, they can promote yeast cell lysis during bâtonnage.
In this regard, a good use of β-glucanasic activities, is found in ENDOZYM Antibotrytis, an AEB formulation that counteracts the damaging effects of Botrytis cinerea. The enzyme breaks down the glucan molecule and inactivates laccase and tyrosinase, powerful PPO’s (polyphenol oxidases) that would ruin the resulting wine.
From the collaboration and experimentation with the University of Turin comes ENDOZYM Velluto, a new enzymatic formulation that allows to greatly increase the extraction of polysaccharides during maceration. Its action helps improve the structure of the finished wine by releasing natural polysaccharides present in the must that would otherwise be lost during processing.
From a careful analysis of the enzymatic activities of some yeasts, AEB understood how arabanase plays an important role in the function of hydrolyzing the branched parts of the pectins present in the skins, which consist of side chains of arabans and arabinogalactans. Their action enables increased extraction of polysaccharides during maceration of red wines. Hence the formulation in our French laboratories of the world's first enzyme specifically for polysaccharide extraction.
Polysaccharides serve several functions in wine: they help improve the sensory experience by affecting the sensation of fullness, smoothness, and persistence in the mouth, while at the same time reducing the perception of astringency by increasing persistence and balance.
It is important to highlight that the use of this new enzyme formulation during maceration does not have an impact on the extraction of anthocyanins and therefore on the color of the wines, as shown during the experimental phases.
Due to the presence of arabinase activity, ENDOZYM Velluto enables the production of structured and balanced wines that exhibit well-balanced organoleptic characteristics with a pleasant velvety feel. It also increases the extraction of condensed and oligomeric tannins, enriching the complexity and balance of the finished wine, while limiting the impact on the anthocyanin profile and color extraction.
As AEB we are constantly working to promote sustainable practices in the wine industry.
Enzymes positively affect the environmental impact of the production process, minimizing waste, water and energy consumption while maximizing quality and yield.
Finally a reminder that our enzymes are GMO free, natural, biodegradable substances that do not accumulate in the environment and pose no health or safety risks to workers or consumers.