FRANCE: Study pours doubt on PET packaging for wine

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Plastic bottles and bag-in-box packaging may be not be as good for storing wine as originally thought, according to a new study by Bordeaux's Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV).

White wine was significantly altered after just six months in bag-in-box, mono PET and PET multi bottles, according to researchers at the ISVV, which is one of Europe's largest wine research centres.

Initial results from the study throw doubt onto claims by some manufacturers and retailers that plastic bottles can preserve a wine's characteristics for up to one year.

"After 12 months, white wine is fully oxidised," said the researchers, who are one year in to a two-year investigation. "The glass bottle preserves white wine's original characteristics with stability," they added.

For red wine, the study said the results after 12 months "begin to show changes but they do not allow significant conclusions to be drawn".

The ISVV team tested the bag-in-box, PET and glass packaging with a red and white Bordeaux wine. The wine was stored in laboratory conditions before being analysed for taste, colour and levels of gasses, such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

"A lot of contradictory information has been circulating in recent months regarding different packaging solutions suitable for wines," said Rémy Ghidossi, a lecturer at the ISVV.

"It is now necessary to establish the truth, based on scientific information and quantitative data, to determine the legitimacy of each package, as its main function is to preserve the flavour and characteristics of its content.”

For the full results of the study's first year, click here.

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