The Pros and Cons of Sulphur Dioxide in Winemaking

sulphur dioxide in winesSulphur dioxide, though used for thousands of years, is still regarded as the most important additive in modern day winemaking. History indicates that the compound was first used by Roman winemakers over 2000 years ago, who recognized that if sulphur candles were first burnt inside empty wine containers, then the wine they held would last longer, keep their colour and not take on a sour vinegar-like taste. Today, sulphur dioxide is usually added in the form of sulphite or bisulphite, and it plays many roles in the making of rich, distinctive wines.

One of the most important uses for sulphur dioxide is to help prevent wine spoilage by bacteria and oxidation. Due to its significant antibiotic and antioxidant properties, the compound is very effective in maintaining wine freshness. Without the additive, wines would only last a few months. Sulphur dioxide’s antimicrobial action is also instrumental is preventing the development of volatile acidity (VA), which is essentially the act of turning wine into vinegar. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the activity of bacteria, yeast and other microbes. While volatile acidity is a part of the fermentation process and has even been described as a part of the character of old Italian wines, too much VA can definitely ruin the flavour and aroma of even the most excellent wines. Continue reading

How Grape Seed Extract Helps to Regulate Zinc Activity

Grape seeds promote health

As an essential mineral, zinc has been described by doctors K. M. Hambidge and N.F. Krebs as being of “exceptional biological and public health importance.” Biochemical studies have shown that there are several hundred enzymes in the human body which have a zinc atom in the reactive center. Zinc has been linked to increased immune response, reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases and countless others health benefits. The prostate gland contains a high concentration of zinc and the mineral is significantly involved in the reproductive process — particularly the transport of sex hormones in both genders. Continue reading

The Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Grape Seeds

mother feeds grapes to child

For most persons around the world, grapes are a delicious and highly nutritious snack. In fact, grapes are generally considered to be the most important food crop cultivated on planet earth. We pop them into our mouth, spit out the slightly bitter seeds and savor the plump flesh and sweet juices. And some of us even manage to avoid the annoyance of removing the seeds altogether by simply purchasing seedless grapes. Whatever our personal approach might be though, recent scientific studies suggest that perhaps we have been going about our grape snacking all wrong. As the facts show, by getting rid of the seeds, we have effectively discarded the bulk of the healthy nutrients on offer. Continue reading