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How does 100% natural acacia gum stabilize the color of the wine? A mechanism finally elucidated!

22 Oct 2020

Alland & Robert, international leader on the acacia gum market, and Biolaffort, leader in private research in oenology, present the many properties of this 100% vegetable and natural gum widely used in the oenology sector.

Acacia gum, the best ally of wine

Today, many food companies have adopted acacia gum, also called gum arabic. In the food industry, for example, acacia gum is used to generate texture, to emulsify and stabilize and as a coating agent.

In oenology, the addition of acacia gum has been formalized since 1972 by the International Code of Oenological Practices (from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (www.oiv.int) and is practiced before bottling, with several advantages:

- In the long term, the addition of acacia gum to wine limits the appearance of sediment by stabilizing the coloring matter.
- Red or white, when the wine ages, its color changes to gradually become more coppery or amber. Indeed, the polyphenols in wine initiate oxidation phenomena which modify its color. The addition of acacia gum makes it possible to limit or even avoid this phenomenon and to preserve the color of the wine over time.

How does 100% natural acacia gum stabilize the color of the wine? A mechanism finally elucidated!
Acacia gum has been used in oenology for decades

Isabelle Jaouen, R&D Director at Alland & Robert affirms: "A tripartite collaborative contract between Biolaffort, the leading private wine research group, the University of Montpellier SupAgro and Alland & Robert made it possible to demonstrate and explain the stabilizing properties acacia gum via an in-depth study1 of the phenomena involved in the stabilization mechanisms. Acacia gum also significantly improves the balance and mellowness of wines, especially those with very strong acidic or aggressive notes. "

A natural and multifunctional gum well known in oenology 

Acacia gum is secreted naturally on certain varieties of acacias, and collected following an incision on the trunk of wild trees located in the south of the Sahel in Africa. Beyond the naturalness specific to the product, the harvest is also 100% natural. Its many advantages such as its resistance to acidity and heat, its low caloric intake and its high fiber content are already well known in the food industry and make it an additive of choice used in many everyday consumer products. In the wine industry, acacia gum has also been known and used for many years.

"Acacia gum is unique and has the distinction of being extremely effective at almost infinitesimal doses of use (0.5 g / liter of wine on average)" underlines Virginie MOINE, Scientific Director at Biolaffort. She adds: "Gum has been used empirically since the 1930s, but we did not know precisely the mechanisms of action on a colloidal scale that stabilize the coloring matter of wines. Hence the ambitious tripartite research contract which unites Biolaffort and Alland & Robert at the University of Montpellier SupAgro, whose objective is to elucidate the physicochemical mechanisms behind the effectiveness of acacia gum and to highlight its properties in this very special application”.

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