Read at Portland Monthly
Wildfires have posed a significant challenge to Oregon vineyards due to the taste of smoke, known as 'smoke taint', in their wines. In response, researchers at Oregon State University are developing flexible spray-on coatings that can protect grapes from the off-flavors caused by the smoke. Although the product is still in the early stages of development, it has the potential to revolutionize the wine industry.
"I think this has the potential to transform the wine industry."
The Oregon wine industry suffered greatly in 2020, with a 30% decrease in grape production due to wildfires and the pandemic. In an effort to address this issue, researchers at Oregon State University studied the compounds in wildfire smoke that create offensive aftertastes and developed cellulose nanofiber-based coatings to either block or capture these compounds. The goal is to ensure that the grapes are not tainted with smoke flavors.
"Depending on the formulations, the spray-on coatings either block or capture the wildfire smoke compounds that result in off-flavors."