Timmy Ka, Process Improvement/Research Analyst, G3 Enterprises
Proper oxygen management during the bottling of wine is critical to ensuring long shelf life. If the package contains too much oxygen at bottling, the wine’s aromas, flavors and mouthfeel can be damaged due to oxidation reactions. Total Package Oxygen (TPO) is the term for quantifying the total amount of oxygen in the package. TPO therefore is directly determined by measuring the oxygen dissolved in the wine and in the package’s headspace and adding these values together. Studies have shown that from 60 to 80% of the overall TPO can come from the oxygen in the package’s headspace. Thus, measuring and controlling oxygen must be done at bottling to ensure the wine remains acceptable for extended periods. TPO is a crucial control factor in increasing a wine’s shelf life. G3 recently installed a new bottling line and used JMP 13 PRO to help visualize several key critical to quality characteristics, including TPO. Further analysis of the data helped to identify ways the bottling personnel could drastically reduce the process variation which, in turn, reduced TPO variation.