New INNOCORK process removes TCA from wine corks

Cork Supply USA (CSU) recently introduced the INNOCORK process which virtually eliminates 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) from wine corks.
The new INNOCORK process is unique because it removes TCA from natural wine corks, preserving all the mechanical and physical properties, and not just from cork granules used to produce technical (1+1) corks. "This process eliminates up to 90 percent of the TCA from wine corks,” says James Herwatt, CEO of CSU. “Besides removing TCA, the INNOCORK process also reduces or eliminates other off-aromas making them more neutral and consistent.” The Cork Supply Group began searching for a TCA removal process six years ago. After discovering several processes that removed TCA but, unfortunately, deformed the corks, they developed what has become the INNOCORK process. “The patented process deep cleans wine corks in a steam distillation of ethyl alcohol,” said Herwatt. “The TCA is released into the ethyl alcohol as it passes in and around the corks. As the ethyl alcohol is removed, so is the TCA.” “Currently, without the use of INNOCORK, our natural wine corks, when measured by solid phase micro-extraction (SPME), average less than 1.0 ng/l of TCA,” said Herwatt. “Our corks are already virtually taint-free, so the INNOCORK process will reduce the likelihood of tainted bottles even further.” The Cork Supply Group in Portugal has been processing and conducting tests on INNOCORK corks for nearly three years, and for just over a year INNOCORK wines corks have been shipped to and used by a major premium winery in Rioja, Spain. Currently, the Cork Supply Group has the capacity to process 5.5 million INNOCORKS a month at their production plant in Portugal, with plans to increase that capacity. Since 1981, CSU has provided wineries with the highest level of quality corks available and is a member of the Cork Supply Group, with operations in Europe, North and South America, Australia and South Africa. Besides owning state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Portugal, the Group also has five forest managers in Portugal who work directly with cork forest growers to ensure that quality is maintained literally from the forest to the bottle. Global Quality Control, a unique independent quality assurance laboratory that maintains autonomous power to accept or reject all cork purchases made by the company based on strict quality standards, also supports the Cork Supply Group.