DOST-FPRDI researchers recently started a research project that would study the safety of fruit wines aged in locally made wine barrels.

The project is an off-shoot of the Institute’s efforts at pilot-testing its own wine barrels made from tree plantation species (TPS) like big-leafed mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), mangium (Acacia mangium), and river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), and a fruit tree -- santol (Sandoricum koijape). The wine barrels were developed to find substitutes to white oak (Quercus alba), known worldwide as the best material for ageing wines.

“We want to assure our future technology adopters and the public of the quality of the wines produced using our barrels,” explained Project Leader Kim Wilmer M. Balagot. “To do this, we will test the toxicity and antioxidant activity of bignay and mango fruit wines fermented for three months. We will also check if our wine barrels contain compounds that can enrich the wines’ aroma and flavor.”

Wine barrels containing bignay and mango fruit wines are labeled properly

Bignay wine is gathered from FPRDI-developed mahogany wine barrel during the pilot-testing.

“Most local fruit wine makers use plastic and glass to age their wines,” shared DOST-FPRDI’s Engr. Caezar A. Cuaresma. “With our wine barrel technology, they have a quality yet affordable option. It’s almost like they’re using imported barrels, but about three times cheaper.”

The Institute is partnering with the Laguna-based Angeles Woodworks Co. for the fabrication of the wine barrels, and with Dielle’s Apiary and Meadery Inc. for the fruit wines.

Funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), the project will run from June 2021 to February 2022. ###(Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon & Rizalina K. Araral, 30 June 2021)