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Study reveals capsules and foils prevent bacterial contamination

A scientific study has proved that capsules and foils for still and sparkling wine demonstrate a protective capacity against bacterial contamination and mould. 

The research was undertaken by European reference centre CSI in collaboration with Crealis Group to better understand bacteriological contamination on the necks of wine bottles.

Assessing bottles with and without capsules and foils, it discovered that they represent “an effective hygienic shield against the transmission of bacteria and mould”.

The scientists studied the development of pathogens such as E-coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which causes acute infections transmitted by sneezing, and the development of mould.

In the laboratory, bottles were immersed with and without capsules in an environment contaminated with the bacteria and fungi. Samples were then taken from the necks of the bottles and the capsules to observe bacterial and mould growth.

Results showed that no bacterial or mould contamination was present on the neck of a bottle with a capsule or foil, while there was “intense growth” recorded on the bottles without a capsule or foil with “widespread and abundant colonies present on the entire sampled surface.”

Crealis claimed that the findings represented a “hygienic assurance” for consumers and producers. It also said that they act as a “physical barrier” that limited microbial contamination, which was similar to those that can occur during bottling, storage, distribution or by the consumer when the bottle is for sale. This contamination can occur through airborne transmission – sneezing and coughing – or through direct contact, such as touching the neck.

Speaking about the findings, Michele Moglia, CEO of the Crealis Group said: “We wanted to study precisely and factually the contribution of the capsule and foil in terms of hygiene.

“The results show that the capsule plays a primary functional role and establishes an essential protective hygienic barrier.

“In this regard, it represents our best ally for both the consumer and the producer, preventing contamination from bottling to consumption. It is not surprising that denominations such as Champagne and Prosecco have made it mandatory following the EU directive that made protective optional for sparkling wines.”

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