A Review of Plastics Use in Winemaking: Permeability and Sorption Considerations
Cassandra Plank and Brent Trela*
*Alert Aesthetics, 1408 N 28th St, Renton, WA 98056
Plastic materials may contact wine during all stages of winemaking: fruit transportation, crush, and storage involve all manner of equipment and materials
like pumps, hoses, fining agents, and filtration for final packaging. Plastics may offer numerous benefits, including cost savings, desirable functionality, or both. However, potential consequences of using plastic include sorption and permeability. Sorption occurs when wine constituents are lost from solution to the plastic phase, while permeability is the rate at which a gas or vapor passes through a polymer. Ethanol and aroma compounds may be lost via sorption or permeation of wine volatiles into the film, which may impact wine quality. Both sorption and permeability depend on which plastic polymer the wine contacts, the molecular size of the volatile compounds present, and storage conditions. This work reviews current research on the effects of grapes and wine interacting with plastics during winemaking, including during processing and storage. Additionally, this work compares gas permeability of plastics to micro-oxygenation techniques, wood, and barrels, so winemakers can better understand and choose among materials to use during winemaking.
Funding Support: Not applicable