ROSA gets the green light

Thursday, 22 July, 2004
Marlene Truter
ROSA - Amorim Cork's multi-million dollar project to eliminate TCA in natural cork stoppers - got the green light from the Excell Laboratory in Bordeaux, the fourth independent research institute to do so.

Explaining the process at a symposium near Stellenbosch, Amorim's head of research and development, prof Miguel Cabral, said the French trials showed an average decline of 77 percent in the TCA levels of affected corks. Although different analytical processes were involved, the percentage matched earlier results released by the Australian Wine Research Institute, Britain's Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association and Germany's Geisenheim Research Institute.

'The ultimate aim is to eliminate cork as a cause of musty taints,' Cabral said.

TCA (short for trichloroanisole) is an innocuous compound of chlorine and phenols found in natural environments and one of the most common off-flavours in food and drink. Examples are cardboard that's got wet and musty, coffee beans (the so-called Rio taint) and cork taste in wine. TCA is also actively absorbed and adheres to surfaces of all types, including plastics, wood and glass, as well as cork. If there's TCA in the atmosphere, it will find its way into products and packaging.

The ROSA process of steam-distillation is already routine treatment for the granules used for Amorim's Twin Top and Neutrocork corks and will be applied across the firm's entire product range by the end of this year.

The Twin Top has become the closure of choice for many high-volume wines and has largely contributed to a renewed confidence in cork as a quality stopper. At the end of three years of research and development, South African producers like Stellenbosch Vineyards, African Terroir, Pernod Ricard (SA) and some leading estates have been involved in trials to monitor the results of Amorim's assault on TCA and have all reported a substantial reduction in its incidence.

Prof Cabral will also be visiting Australia and the United States on his current tour of winemaking countries.

Issued by Marlene Truter Communications on behalf of Amorim Cork SA (Pty) Ltd

Contact: Joaquim Sá
Cell: 083 463 7051