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Integral planning methodology to monitor Brettanomyces growth in wine cellars

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Partner keyword: 
Traceability of food
Process control equipment and systems
Technical testing and analysis
Research and experimental development on biotechnology


A Spanish technological center offers a methodology to monitor the microorganism Brettanomyces and the phenolic compounds produced. It allows the control of the wine during the winemaking process at real time from the first phases to bottling, improving the decision-making processes during production. The partnership sought is a commercial agreement with technical assistance on the agro-food sector, and research cooperation agreement to revalorisation of by-products in EU funding program.



A Spanish technology centre, funded in 1994, offers transversal, integrated and innovative solutions to companies to improve their processes, developments, systems and products. It operates in five economic sectors: i) industry, ii) energy and environment, iii) construction and infrastructure, iv) agro-food, and v) health and quality of life.

The center offers an analytical methodology, which includes the tools and know-how of the company, for the detection of volatile phenols and yeast cell counting to prevent Brettanomyces contamination. The method can be customized to the winery production processes and size.

The Brettanomyces yeast produces several compounds in wine that can alter the palate and bouquet of a wine, especially to those subject to aging processes. The level of the products of Brettanomyces can have different effects on the perception of the wine and potentially spoiled the final product.

Therefore, the control measures to detect the presence and concentration of the yeast are critical in the production processes of a winery. Currently, there are two strategies to detect the presence of Brettanomyces: by the detection of volatile phenols (gas chromatography) and yeast cells counting.

Traditionally, small and medium sized wineries have had no budget to invest in control tools to monitor their production process. Therefore, they have to spend time and work force resources to check their production processes and ensure the quality of the final products.

The methodology offered combines the detection of volatile phenols and yeast cell counting to control yeasts growth that can be customized to winery needs in terms of number of control points, location of control points, number of samples and type of test performed. The timeline of monitoring and control plan can be also customized.

Additionally, the methodology integrated a risk assessment study that identified both, potential risks and optimal control points along the production process.

The technology centre control tool and know-how is for wineries that are interested in:
- Control the traceability of their products.
- Use a methodology totally customized to their needs and production process.
- Improve the control of Brettanomyces concentration along the production chain, and therefore, improve the decision-making process during production and business decisions.
- Improve their trademark image.

The Spanish technology centre has broad experience in optimising the implementation of production control tools in many SMEs, mainly in the agro-food sector.

Partners sought are companies (wineries), mainly on the agro-food sector but open to other sectors, under commercial agreement with technical assistance to implement and customize the methodology offered by the technological center in wine production processes. The technology centre is also interested in research cooperation agreements with entities (companies, universities or research and technology centres) interested in developing a project about revalorisation of by-products or developing new products for future calls in EU funding programs.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
There are already several quick methods to detect Brettanomyces in wine that range from inexpensive simple visual detection methods that length around two weeks, to fasters test, as PCR (polymerase chain reaction), but more complex and expensive. The method offered by this technological center allows: - To take real-time measures of volatile phenols and yeast cell counting. - To define the number of samples, the stages at which the measures shall be taken and the type of test that will be performed. - To develop a risk assessment study that identify potential risks and suggest optimal control points along the production chain. - To define the time lap and frequency of measures taken.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Commercial agreement with technical assistance: the centre is seeking SMEs, mainly on the agro-food sector (wineries), interested in improving the traceability and management of their pdroduntion processes through implementation of the methodology in their protocols. Research cooperation agreement: the centre seeks SMEs, R&D institutions and/or universities interested in developing an international research and development project related with the implementation of new products and revalorisation of by-products, under international cooperation projects.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,University,R&D Institution,SME <10,SME 51-250