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Protein is the most important protein component of milk. Besides carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, it also contains nitrogen and phosphorus. Unlike most other proteins, it is heat-resistant up to 120 °C. Casein makes up the majority of the proteins in curd cheese and cheese (lat. caseus), which obtain their firm consistency through coagulation. The substance is electrically positively charged and therefore combines with negatively charged substances such as lees, tannins, dyes, iron, copper and heavy metals. This is why it is mostly used in winemaking in the form of potassium caseinate for clarifying and fining. It is particularly effective in the treatment of oxidised wines such as high colour or brown break. The oxidised substances are bound and the taste and colour are stabilised. Casein is also used to treat off-flavours such as acetic souring, mousse and horse sweat. Preparations containing casein count as declarable allergens from a quantity of 0.25 mg/l of proteins in the wine. See also under Agents used in winemaking.

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