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Tastry Offers Testing for Smoke Taint in California Wines – Unique Sensory Technology for Flavor Is Leveraged to Help California Winemakers

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As more traditional wine labs are overwhelmed, Tastry agrees to provide assistance

Tastry LogoSeptember 2, 2020 (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) Tastry™, the leading sensory sciences company, is leveraging their state-of-the-art laboratories to assist farmers and winemakers in identifying the level of damage caused by recent wildfires in California. Tastry, respected for their advanced machine learning, and analytical and flavor chemistry to match consumers to products, has stepped in to assist vintners at this critical time of harvest. “We are committed to lessen the load of testing requests experienced by other labs by identifying the presence and concentration of various compounds related to smoke damage,” said Tastry Founder & CEO, Katerina Axelsson.

Tastry is currently providing tests for guaiacol and 4-methylguaiacol only on post-primary fermentation samples and expects to be providing added visibility into other compounds including syringol, 4-methylsyringol, m-cresol, p-cresol, and o-cresol. Tastry is focusing on these compounds as they are the key contributors to undesirable sensory characteristics described as smoky, burnt, charred, salami, ash, smoky bacon, medicinal and ashtray. 

“Given the tremendous increase in volume of requested tests by the industry, we wanted to focus our efforts where they would do the most good,” said Axelsson. “Some of these volatiles present as bound glycosides, and are most easily quantified post-fermentation; that is to say that as the sugar in the wine is consumed during a micro-fermentation, many more of these bound phenols are released providing for a more accurate evaluation. By testing micro-fermented samples instead of juice, the growers and wineries can more granularly understand the potential impact on the final wine,” she continued. Tastry is currently providing results within 48 hours, but as the volume of requested tests increases, delays may be inevitable.

Tastry currently uses novel technology called Tastry CompuBlend™ “Computational Blending”, which assists winemakers to maximize value during the blending process, Axelsson commented that, “as the season continues, we expect our existing clients to be more in need than ever to make the most of the fruit that is salvageable.”  

Vintners should note that Tastry recommends micro-fermentations be conducted according to the AWRI protocol, and samples should be provided sealed and headspace-free in 375ml or 650ml containers, although 50ml is acceptable. For additional information and assistance, please contact: [email protected]

About Tastry

Tastry™ is a sensory science company based in San Luis Obispo, California. Their patent-pending artificial intelligence technology powered by novel analytical and flavor chemistry provides science-based insights used for product development and a variety of business improvement strategies. Learn more at Tastry.com.

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