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Climate Changes and Food Quality: The Potential of Microbial Activities as Mitigating Strategies in the Wine Sector

  • berbegal, carmen
  • fragasso, mariagiovanna
  • russo, pasquale
  • bimbo, francesco
  • grieco, francesco
  • spano, giuseppe
  • capozzi, vittorio
Publication Date
Sep 23, 2019
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Climate change threatens food systems, with huge repercussions on food security and on the safety and quality of final products. We reviewed the potential of food microbiology as a source of biotechnological solutions to design climate-smart food systems, using wine as a model productive sector. Climate change entails considerable problems for the sustainability of oenology in several geographical regions, also placing at risk the wine typicity. The main weaknesses identified are: (i) The increased undesired microbial proliferation / (ii) the improved sugars and, consequently, ethanol content / (iii) the reduced acidity and increased pH / (iv) the imbalanced perceived sensory properties (e.g., colour, flavour) / and (v) the intensified safety issues (e.g., mycotoxins, biogenic amines). In this paper, we offer an overview of the potential microbial-based strategies suitable to cope with the five challenges listed above. In terms of microbial diversity, our principal focus was on microorganisms isolated from grapes/musts/wines and on microbes belonging to the main categories with a recognized positive role in oenological processes, namely Saccharomyces spp. (e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae), non-Saccharomyces yeasts (e.g., Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Lachancea thermotolerans, and Starmerella bacillaris), and malolactic bacteria (e.g., Oenococcus oeni, Lactobacillus plantarum).

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