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malolactic fermentation

Term for the conversion of malic acid into the milder-tasting lactic acid (Latin malum = apple, lac = milk), which plays an alternative role in the production of fruit juice, wine and sparkling wine(champagne, sparkling wine). The process is also known as biological acid degradation (BSA), bacterial malic acid degradation, microbial acid degradation or apple lactic acid fermentation, as carbon dioxide is also released. However, it is not actually a real fermentation, but was previously thought to be. Around 1890, Dr Hermann Müller-Thurgau (1850-1927), who was working in Geisenheim at the time, correctly suspected bacteria as the cause. Dr Wenzel Seifert (1862-1942) was then able to identify the acid-degrading bacterium at the Klosterneuburg Viticulture Institute in 1903 and named it "Micrococcus malolacticus".

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