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ISRAEL: Israelis claim to have produced white wine with health attributes of red

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Scientists at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology - claim to have created a white wine with the beneficial effects of red wine. And, in a related study, it believes it has found that an Israeli wine has more health promoting chemicals than its French counterpart.

Researchers have known for years about the link between red wine and lower cholesterol oxidation. The Technion-made white wine contains more flavonoids, the natural chemicals that counteract the damaging effects of cholesterol oxidation, according to Professor Michael Aviram, of the Technion Faculty of Medicine, who headed the research team.

Aviram will present his findings at the New York Academy of Sciences Alcohol and Wine International Meeting next month in Palo Alto, California, and publish them in the August issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

"We concluded that processing white wine by putting grape skins of white or yellow chardone or Muscat grapes in contact with alcohol for a short time, helped extract the skin's flavonoids. It produced wine rich in potent antioxidants, similar to those found in red wine," Aviram said.

In the second study, the research team found that an Israel wine contains more flavonols - a group of potent flavonoids - than its French counterpart. "We set out to understand why in our red wine studies from 1995 we found twice as much reduction in cholesterol oxidation as the French studies. It turned out that the difference lies not in our methods, but due to the strength of the flavonoids in Israel grapes," Aviram remarked.


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