Two years ago, a group of friends were enjoying a glass of wine in the Mosel region in south-west Germany when their conversation turned to the health benefits which studies attribute to the drink. During the fermentation process of making wine, by-products are left over which are often just discarded as waste and the friends reasoned that since these by-products contain the goodness of wine in an even more concentrated form, and without the alcohol, shouldn't it be more often used and consumed by humans?
One of the friends was Bernd Diehl, the 48-year-old co-owner of a German chemical analysis company called Spectral Service. He proposed his company develop a method to turn the by-products into a powder preserving as many of the natural, healthy properties of wine as possible - the proteins, B vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, which are thought to prevent heart or circulation diseases, inflammation and thrombosis.
As a relatively small company, Spectral decided to partner with the larger Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum (TTZ), German specialists in product development, and the pair successfully applied to carry out their research as a EUREKA project. As well as developing wine powder, the partners also wanted to test their powders in different kinds of products in both food and drink, as well as in make-up. Here Spanish natural cosmetics company Alfaverde Productos Naturales was keen to help.
"We didn't just want to extract the nutrients from red wine and press them into pills," says ProVino's project leader Gabriele Randel. "We worked from the principle that if omega-3-fatty acids are good for you, it's better to eat fish than to swallow a -supplement. By adding red wine powder to products we also wanted to keep some of the taste and colour of red wine."
So the partners' two-year research programme began. Diehl and Randel drove up and down Germany, collecting wine material from vineyards in the Mosel, the Rheinland-Pfalz , t
|Contact: Dr. Gabriele Randele|