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Acetobacter

acetobacteria (ES)
acetobactéria (PO)

Genus of acetic acid bacteria with various species that can convert alcohol (ethanol) to acetic acid under the influence of air. Acetobacter are among the very few bacteria that can still exist in wine even at very high acidity levels. However, they are only viable in the presence of oxygen. Therefore they are called obligatory aerobic (forced aerobic). Ideal conditions for reproduction are warm temperatures between 30 and 40 °Celsius, high pH-values (low acidity) and aerobic conditions (oxygen). If Acetobacter enter the wine via the grapes or from the air, acetic acid and acetic acid-ethyl ester can be formed there, which in higher quantities means the wine defects acetic sting and/or uhuton. To avoid acetic acid formation (acetic fermentation), the wine must be reductively aged, i.e. under exclusion of oxygen. In this process, contact with oxygen is avoided by high filling of the barrels or sulphur dioxide is added to bind the oxygen in the wine and thus render it harmless. During fermentation, Acetobacter can form undesirable acetone and cause the unpleasant solvent tone. Acetobacter are used industrially for the production of acetic acid and vinegar.

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