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Alginate

Alginates are the salts of alginic acids, which are extracted from certain brown algae and have long been used in the food and beverage industry. In food, their adsorptive effect is mainly used to thicken sauces, as well as to stabilise beer foam. In the production of sparkling wine, the long-lasting and very labour-intensive remuage (riddling) of the bottles is increasingly facilitated by new processes using alginates.

In bottle fermentation, the yeast deposit is prevented from adhering to the bottle wall, thereby accelerating the remuage (riddling, i.e. removal of the yeast deposit). In another process, permeable capsules (French billes) are filled into the bottle. These are made of calcium alginate, this substance being produced by exchanging the sodium ions for calcium ions. The capsules contain the yeasts fixed (adhering) to the alginate. After fermentation has taken place, the capsules slide down the neck by themselves and are removed with the yeast deposit (just like the yeast residues in the conventional process). See also a list of all substances under Agents in winemaking.

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