This page in Swedish

Research projects

Rewine the world- By joint forces and expertise apply multi-disciplinary research and develop novel methods to rescue wine and other complex food products

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Anders Crichton-Fock

Research subject


The emission of carbon dioxide has remarkably increased and effected the global warming (WWF, 2020). It has a catastrophic impact on our food production in the form of extreme temperatures, reduced rainfall, forest fires and rising water levels across the globe (Galbreath, Tisch, Quaddus, & Rabbanee, 2020). The United Nations has also made it clear that the natural resources of the world are limited, which places inevitable demands on environmentally friendly as well as socially sustainable and cost-effective solutions (Ghosh, Fawcett, Sharma, & Poinern, 2016). The demands are placed on increased resource efficiency, reformation of distribution networks and the promotion of more efficient management of the entire food chain (Ghosh et al., 2016). Assessing the environmental impact and resource use of the food production and distribution can be a fundamental element in creating a future with more sustainable consumption (Roy, Nei, Orikasa, Xu, Okadome, Nakamura, & Shiina, 2009). The wine industry is a part of the agricultural and food sector where direct food waste has not in a largely extent been addressed (Christ & Burritt, 2013). One possible reason is the traditional and cultural aspects of the wine industry, which is reflected in idyllic images with beautiful landscapes, has led to a perception that wine is considered as an environmentally safe product (Christ & Burritt, 2013; Ruggieri et al., 2009). One of the most serious parts in the environmental handling of food products such as wine is what is referred to as destruction, where the final product, in the last stage before consumption, is poured out. There are several reasons for destruction; the natural sale context and/or the market of the wine has changed creating an overstock at different stages down the supply chain (Hotel/restaurants, monopoly, retail stores, wine importers), the sensory profile of the wine has changed with minor or major deviations which has made it impossible to sell the “wrong” taste profile to the consumer, new vintage has been launched and an overstock of a less popular vintage has emerged, seasonal products that have become obsolete (Beaujolais nouveau) etc.

Despite all attempts approaching an environmentally friendly production in the beginning of the lifecycle, wine is a living product and when the sensory experience changes due to maturation, aging or other deviations, the distance between the content of the wine and how it is communicated get further apart from each other. Factors like consumer recognition and fulfilment of general expectations are crucial for how the consumers react to wines that are distributed. The crucial factor being the sensory experience which will change over time, whereas the packaging and the printed information on the bottle will be the same. Besides challenges related to consumer expectations other challenges concerns wine with minor and major deviations that faces even higher risk of being poured out. One example of a wine with minor deviations could be an Australian Cabernet sauvignon made to be consumed within 2 years. After 3 years the acidity and tannin level in the wine has decreased in relation to the concentration of fruit resulting the wine to become notable flat or jammy, i.e. minor deviations related to low acidity. Another example could a Burgundy that has dried out and the opposite chemical process occurs causing a minor deviation in taste profile; the fruit level in the wine has decreased making the wine unbalanced due to a too pronounced acidity/bitterness in relation to the fruit. Common for wines with minor and major deviations are that they might be consumed in one or other way; in a food context where these deviations can be balanced, in a blend with other wines or creating new products while retaining much of the high refinement value, add/balance with flavoring, as a kitchen wine, wine coolers, vinegar etc. The sensory experience in wine tasting is related to its organoleptic attributes, such as aroma, taste, and mouthfeel, which are further linked to its chemical composition. The chemical composition of wines is complex with many compounds of very different chemical classes and character (alcohols, esters, phenolic compounds, sugars, amino acids. aldehydes, ketones, fatty acids, terpenes). Several methods, mainly based on combination of chromatography and mass spectrometry have been developed for the characterization of the chemical composition of the wine (Kallio et al., 2008). However, sensory impact is usually related to complex interactions among these compounds while the perception threshold of these compounds can vary substantially, and, in several cases, they do not show an evident relationship between concentration and sensory impact. To adequately evaluate the aroma profile of wine and understand which compounds are responsible for the characteristics notes it is necessary to correlate the chemical composition and sensory data. However, the data generated by the state-of-the art analytical platforms are complex, requiring the use of proper statistical methodologies to connect the sensory profiles with specific chemical profiles. We have already previously been developing novel methods for the characterization of wine taste and aroma (Kallio et al), and using have made a pilot project on integrating sensory data with the chemical profiles. Moreover, we have utilized a similar approach in characterization of herbs, i.e. comprehensive chemical analysis combined with sensory analysis (Castro-Alves et al., 2021).



Aim and expected outcomes

The expected outcome of the project is to increase resource efficiency by investigating different aspects of food rescuing and recycling, using wine as the case of study. In the proposed project the aim is to increase resource efficiency by investigating different aspects of food rescuing and recycling, using wine as the case of study. An overall aim is to a create a systematic approach for detecting/handling waste wines in the different steps of the value chain to further streamline the recycling process. The methods developed is expected to find usage within other areas of complex food products, i.e. with high degrees of refinement, which threatens to become waste. By integrating comprehensive chemical characterization with sensory science, we will be able to effectively translate chemical profiles to what consumers sense in terms of sensorial quality. This will also allow us to develop simplified analytical methodologies that can later be applied for fast on-site characterization of the wines. In this regard, we intend to also provide guidance to consumers to enable more resource-efficient buying behaviors, which in turn can be expected to affect production and entrepreneurship involving the six stages of the food chain from primary production to consumption, but also to more sustainable resource management in global value chains. The research project is of central importance for changing the society to a more circular view on wine (UNEP and IRP 2020). Results from the study are expected to both influence consumers' buying behaviors but also the view of when wine is considered waste in the global value chain. Depending on the result from the sensory- and chemical analysis - identifying the critical levels of critical attributes, will also decide how the wine can be re-used, with minimum loss of refinement (see Fig. 4). This approach could also be applied for otherfood products in order to extend the product lifecycle and thereby reduce food waste. Another expected outcome from this project is increased sharing of sensory data and product resources between stakeholders. For instance, sharing lists of potential recycle-wines that can easily be exploited, analyzed and distributed. This is a multi- disciplinary project that contributes to increased knowledge and development regarding taste and sensorics among actors in the food system.


  • Brasri AB
  • Charles Spence, Oxford University
  • FoodLoopz
  • Huset under bron AB
  • Hvita Hjorten AB
  • Oddbird
  • Re:winers
  • Robert J Harrington, Washington State University
  • Tim Hanni