Technical Bulletin: Improving the Quality of Alcoholic Beverages
After nearly three years of tastings in Australia, New Zealand, USA and France we havedemonstrated that our beverage processor can significantly smooth all spirits and a majority of stillwines by removing the bitterness, astringency and aftertaste.
These tastings have included everything from box wines to vintage still wines, as well asinexpensive, midrange and premium spirits or liquors.
In addition to smoothness, most processed alcoholic beverages become more flavorful andaromatic. For wines this could mean that the wine is fruitier, sweeter or drier, and more aromatic.
For spirits, some vodka products could become tastier with no bite; while for gin, you would beable to taste and smell the botanicals; and for barrel-aged spirits (whisky, bourbon, scotch, rum,etc.) the flavors and aromas would become greatly enhanced.
Finally, a majority of people who drank the processed alcoholic beverages in moderation, evenones who mixed wines and spirits, claimed to have no side effects the next day. In some cases,people who normally become red or flush after drinking wine, had no reaction. However, peoplewith major allergies to wines, which may be due to sulfites (free sulfur dioxide), still had reactions.
Most people do not know that there could be hundreds of chemicals in the alcoholic beveragesthat they drink; and some of these chemicals can be hazardous to your health. However, sincethey only occur in very small concentrations they normally only cause side effects.
The chemicals in alcoholic beveragesare in varying concentrations and canpositively or negatively affect their color,smoothness, taste and aroma.
Normally high production products havehigher concentrations of undesirablechemicals (congeners) that negativelyaffect the smoothness, color, taste andaroma of the beverage, and normallycause side effects (hangovers).
Click on to seesome of the different chemicals involved.
Also, view ‘Origins of Flavour in Whiskies’to see the different inscotch that are usually in very lowconcentrations.
The good news is that the majority of inexpensive and midrange wines as well as all liquors orspirits can be processed with our beverage processor to produce a smoother, better tastingbeverage that is easy to drink and friendlier to your body.
The reason for these improvements is due to the fact that our low frequency ultrasonic beverageprocessor promotes favorable sonochemical reactions in spirits and still wines in very short times.
In essence our Beverage Processor mimics aging by restructuring or breaking down complexchemicals that improve a beverage’s quality, taste and aroma. However, instead of waiting monthsor years, the process may only take a few minutes. Note: Our beverage processor does not claim to age beverages.
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To insure the accuracy of the improvements we claim; processed and unprocessed samples weresent to certified analytical laboratories in the USA, Scotland and New Zealand.
The results from these laboratories corroborated our claims and reinforced the feedback from themany drinkers who tasted processed wines and spirits.
The following summary of the results list only some of the chemicals analyzed that are clearlyrecognized as the cause of a quality trait.
1. Chemicals (for example methanol, butanol and ellagic acid) related to bitterness and aftertaste
were reduced in Bourbon, Rum and Whiskey samples.
2. Chemicals (for example high molecular weight tannins) related to astringency were reduced in
3. Chemicals (for example higher alcohols and fusel alcohols) generally regarded as causing side
effects were reduced in Rum and Whiskey samples.
4. Chemicals (for example fufural, syringic acid, vanillic acid, syringealdehyde, cis-whiskey
lactones and vanillin) related to improvements in taste and aroma increased in Bourbon, Rum
5. Chemicals (for example low molecular weight tannins, anthocyanins and catechins) related to
improvements in taste and color increased in Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay samples.
6. Chemicals, biogenic amines in Cabernet Sauvignon, and sulfites (free sulfur dioxide) in
Chardonnay samples, generally regarded as causing side effects were reduced.
7. The antioxidants (quercetin aglycone and resveratrol) increased in the Cabernet Sauvignon
sample. Quercetin also acts as an antihistamine which may also help to reduce side effects.
In addition, the test results showed that the percentage of ethanol was not significantly affected orreduced from the percentage of the original sample. The samples for the processed red and whitewines and bourbon were 0.2% lower; the gin was 0.6% lower; and the whiskey was 0.1 % lower.
We have measured the acidity or pH of many types of wines and spirits using a pH meter, and thevalues did not change for any beverage processed by our beverage processor.
The test results by the analytical laboratories clearly showed the improvements in red and whitewines and dark spirits. However, there was still the problem of trying to understand why processedclear spirits (e.g. vodka, gin) are friendlier to your body.
The difference for both gin and vodka is that they have very low levels of chemicals (e.g. higheralcohols and fusel alcohols) that are responsible for bitterness, aftertaste and side effects.
This indicates that the ethanol, as identified by many researchers, is most likely the cause of mostundesirable traits (bite or aftertaste, smoothness, and side effects and hangovers) for clear spirits.
To determine if we can really claim to be friendlier to your body for vodka and gin, we designedseveral controlled experiments. Each experiment consisted of making three mixed drinks (350 mlof tonic and 100 ml of either a premium vodka or a premium gin), and then drinking them the sameway in 23 minutes.
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The drinker followed the same eating pattern before each test and each test was run twice toinsure consistent results. Since the results were found to be consistent, we stopped at two tests.
The results which should be easy to repeat showed:
1a. Drinking the processed vodka drinks (vodka & tonic) resulted in a nice buzz (euphoria) with no headache or hangover. After three hours the drinker felt like he had never had a drink.
1b. After drinking the unprocessed vodka drinks, the drinker became drunk, with a bad headache, upset stomach, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a bad hangover the next day. He had to take aspirin after drinking; and the bad effects were still bothering him when he went to sleep.
2a. Drinking the processed gin drinks (gin & tonic) resulted in a nice buzz and only a very slight headache that went away after 40 minutes with no hangover the next day. After one hour the drinker felt like he had never had a drink.
2b. After drinking the unprocessed gin drinks the drinker had a real buzz (but not drunk), with a bad headache, runny nose and sinus congestion. The drinker had to take aspirin; and had bad effects that lasted for many hours and were still bothering him when he went to sleep. However, the drinker had no hangover the next day. Note: The drinker found that the processed drinks were much smoother (no bite) and much easier to drink than the original unprocessed drinks.
These results indicate that the ultrasound somehow modifies the ethanol structure so that it doesnot react as violently with your body. Thus, according to this controlled experiment, processedgins and vodkas have fewer or no side effects when compared to the side effects produced by theunprocessed products.
Finally, we recently designed an experiment to determine if dark spirits could be further aged afterprocessing with the beverage processor to further improve their quality.
We placed processed dark rum and whiskey samples in bottles and stored them for 8 months in acloset. We also stored unprocessed bottles of the dark rum and whiskey for the same time.
At the end of 8 months we purchased new bottles of the dark rum and whiskey and processed halfof each bottle. We then compared the tastes of the unprocessed new sample with theunprocessed aged sample; and the processed new sample with the processed aged sample foreach.
We found that there was no detectable difference in quality (taste, smoothness and aroma) whenwe compared the taste of the unprocessed new samples with the taste of the unprocessed agedsamples.
However, the quality (taste, smoothness and aroma) of the processed aged samples was found tobe even better than the processed new samples.
This means that dark spirits (e.g. rum, whiskey, scotch, bourbon) processed with the beverageprocessor can be further aged in a bottle for greater improvements to the quality of the product.
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