Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wine cartons reduce ladybug taint

Published:  08 June, 2009

Cartons may be the best vessels for avoiding off-flavours in wine, according to a Canadian study.

Researchers at Brock University in Ontario believe Tetrapak-style boxes do a better job of preventing chemicals called alkyl-methoxypyrazines spoiling wine. The chemicals are found on grapes and in the remains of insects crushed along with the fruit - hence the nickname ladybug taint.

In the study, scientists added the same level of the chemicals to wines in bottles sealed with screwcaps, synthetic closures and natural cork, as well as cartons. The wines were left for 18 months and then analysed.

The cartons outperformed the bottles, absorbing up to 45% of the unwanted chemicals. But researchers warned that cardboard vessels were still relatively more likely to suffer oxygen penetration, making them unsuitable for long-term use.