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Pasteur Louis

The French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) achieved outstanding achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, microbiology, agronomy and medicine. He was born in the western French town of Dôle in the department of Jura. It is in the very area where the famous Vin Jaune is produced in the Château-Chalon appellation. As early as 1857, he succeeded in proving the involvement of microorganisms in alcoholic fermentation. Until then the process was unknown. In 1861 he realised that yeasts consume much less sugar in the presence of oxygen or in an aerobic environment than in an anaerobic environment. In this context, the "Pasteur effect" or "Crabtree effect" is also referred to. His numerous studies of decay and fermentation led him to discover microorganisms and, in 1865, to a process to prevent decomposition, pasteurisation, which was named after him.

In 1863, Emperor Napoleon III commissioned him (1808-1873) to clarify why so much wine is spoiled by acidification. If wine was left standing open in the air for too long, sooner or later it would inevitably turn into vinegar, but the cause was not yet known at the time. Pasteur returned to his home town of Arbois. The family house there was converted into a museum. Pasteur had always been fascinated by the complex fermentation processes in Vin Jaune, which are very important in this wine. In numerous experiments he discovered that too much air supply and the resulting oxidation favours the spread of all kinds of bacteria. But he also proved that a low amount of oxygen can have a positive effect on the development of wine.

He discovered the bacteria responsible for the formation of acetic acid(Acetobacter). His resulting findings about the enormous importance of hygiene in wine production and the germicidal effect of sulphur radically changed the methods used until then and are still valid today worldwide. In 1867 he took over the chair of organic chemistry at the Sorbonne in Paris. On behalf of the French government he researched various diseases of silkworms and recognized them as infectious diseases. From 1876 onwards, he devoted himself entirely to human and veterinary medicine. He developed a vaccine against avian cholera and thus made vaccination a general principle in the first place.

He was also involved in the fight against phylloxera. The horticultural expert Léopold Laliman (1817-1897) gave him wines from American vines for analysis. In 1874, Pasteur then proposed combating phylloxera with soil fungi, but the idea was never tested in practice. Finally, in 1885, he became chairman of the phylloxera commission set up by the Ministry of Agriculture. His numerous publications are available in a seven-volume complete work. These are Dissymétrie moléculaire; Fermentations et générations dites spontanées; Études sur le vinaigre et sur le vin; Études sur la maladie des vers à soie; Etudes sur la bière; Maladies virulentes, virus-vaccins et prophylaxie de la rage and Mélanges scientifiques et littéraires. Pasteur also said "Wine is the healthiest and most hygienic drink of all

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