Researchers are looking into the safety of fruit wines aged in barrels made in the Philippines.
The Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) said the project is an off-shoot of the Institute’s efforts at pilot-testing its own wine barrels made from tree plantation species (TPS).
They include wine barrels made from big-leafed mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), mangium (Acacia mangium) and river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), and a fruit tree—santol (Sandoricum koijape).
The wine barrels were developed to find substitutes to white oak (Quercus alba), known worldwide as the best material for ageing wines.
“We want to assure our future technology adopters and the public of the quality of the wines produced using our [Philippine-made] barrels,” Project Leader Kim Wilmer M. Balagot explained.
“To do this, we will test the toxicity and antioxidant activity of bignay and mango fruit wines fermented for three months. We will also check if our wine barrels contain compounds that can enrich the wines’ aroma and flavor.”
“Most local fruit wine makers use plastic and glass to age their wines,” DOST-FPRDI’s Engr. Caezar A. Cuaresma said.
“With our wine barrel technology, they have a quality yet affordable option. It’s almost like they’re using imported barrels, but about three times cheaper.”
The Institute is partnering with the Laguna-based Angeles Woodworks Co. for the fabrication of the wine barrels, and with Dielle’s Apiary and Meadery Inc. for the fruit wines.
Funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), the project began in June and will end in February 2022. Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon/Rizalina K. Araral, S&T Media Services