Carburos Metálicos, a leading company in the industrial and medical gases sector in Spain, which is part of the Air Products Group, has brought together experts from the wine sector in an informative day dedicated to the analysis of the role of gases and their applications in sustainability and energy efficiency, within the wine industry.
The event, held at the Carburos Metálicos R&D centre, was led by Sonia Guri, who is responsible for agrifood of the R&D Department of Metal Carbides and Clara Santamaría, Cluster Manager of INNOVI. INNOVI is the Catalan wine cluster that promotes the competitiveness of entities through collaboration and innovation.
Two key topics were addressed: The future of fluorinated refrigerant gases for energy efficiency and the sustainability of the wine industry, and the applications of gases and oenology dosing equipment.
Presenting on the first topic, Ander Leoz, Product Manager of Refrigerants for Southern Europe in Carburos Metálicos, stressed that, “Currently, the refrigeration systems used in the warehouses have a high energy cost, while there are already more efficient solutions in the market that use new refrigerants, that allow a significant reduction in costs, as well as consider the environmental impact of the wine industry ”.
On the other hand, Jordi Mallén, Food Product Manager for Southern Europe in Carburos Metálicos, commented that, “Gases in oenology are among the main products available to winemakers to ensure maximum protection, quality and reproducibility in the winemaking process and respond to market demands”.
Mallén has presented the applications of gases for the improvement of winemaking processes, with special emphasis on sulfur dioxide dosing equipment that allows efficient and optimal injection required by the wineries.
Carburos Metálicos has more than 70 years of experience providing gases and equipment for the wine sector. One of the gases most used by wine producers in Spain is carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is used for different purposes in different stages of winemaking: in the grape harvest for the refrigeration of the grapes during the transfer of the field to the winery; for inertisation of presses and grape reception tanks; in the carbonic maceration used to vinify the whole grape; in carbonation, to maintain or increase the level of CO2 dissolved in the wine, giving it certain characteristics of freshness, aromas and fruity flavours, in certain young wines; or in the bottling, where CO2 is used to move the air avoiding the contact of the oxygen (O2) with the wine during the commercialisation, as well as the possible oxidation or the development of aerobic microorganisms, thus lengthening the life of the product.
Other gases commonly used in oenology are Sulfur dioxide (SO2), which is used in different processes in the preservation of musts and wines; nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) used for the inertisation of storage tanks and nurseries, bazuqueos and homogenizations, flotation processes, racking, emptying of barrels and bottling; or the O2 that serves for the hyperoxygenation of musts and the micro-oxygenation of wines.
“The mission of INNOVI, as a cluster of the Catalan wine sector, is to promote the competitiveness of companies in the sector in order to face globalisation favourably through innovation, which is why we support the holding of this type of informative days that serve to broaden horizons and give ideas to producers.“ added Clara Santamaría, Cluster Manager of INNOVI.
For Carburos Metálicos, sustainability is at the centre of its activity, backed by three fundamental lines of action: Grow responsibly by offering efficient, sustainable and long-lasting solutions to its customers, conserve resources and reduce its environmental footprint thanks to cutting-edge innovations and Care for employees, customers, and the economic and social fabric of the communities in which it is present.