Micro-Oxygenation of red wine: techniques, applications, and outcomes

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Wine micro-oxygenation (MOX) is the controlled addition of oxygen to wine in a manner designed to ensure that complete mass transfer of molecular oxygen from gaseous to dissolved state occurs. MOX was initially developed to improve the body, structure and fruitfulness in red wines with high concentrations of tannins and anthocyanins, by replicating the ingress of oxygen thought to arise from barrel maturation, but without the need for putting all wine to barrel. This review describes the operational parameters essential for the effective performance of the micro-oxidation process as well as the chemical and microbiological outcomes. The methodologies for introducing oxygen into the wine, rates of oxygen addition and their relationship to oxygen solubility in the wine matrix are examined. The review focuses on techniques used for monitoring the MOX process, including sensory assessment, physicochemical properties and the critical balance of the rate of oxygen addition in relation to maintaining the sulfur dioxide concentration. The chemistry of oxygen reactivity with wine components, the changes in wine composition that occur as a consequence of MOX and the potential for wine spoilage if proper monitoring is not adopted are examined. Gaps in existing knowledge are addressed focussing on the limitations associated with the transfer of concepts from research trials in small volume tanks to commercial practice, and the dearth of kinetic data for the various chemical and physical processes that are claimed to occur during MOX.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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