What a week for us wine drinker, amirite? First we find out drinking a whole bottle of wine a day isn't bad for you. Now, students at Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism are looking to make our favorite booze healthier by extracting toxins from winemaking process.
According to a report by ClickOrlando.com, Chaplin's wine lab (we might've chosen the wrong school for our own educations...) is studying ways to address the secretion Ochratoxin A (OTA) from vineyard molds. The toxin-carrying molds, most frequently found in "black aspergilli," grows in warm and humid environments. In the case of vineyards, it grows onto the actual grapes. When these grapes are then picked and crushed, the mold gets into the wine. The students are looking to introduce a yeast — all wine is fermented using yeast — that will effectively kill the toxin produced by the mold and its potential health effects.
How is OTA dangerous? Why should we be concerned? There is concern that the toxin may be linked to kidney disease as well as cancer. Some evidence suggests that it can even cause damage to DNA. While there is on-going monitoring of the mold by-product, the United States' Food and Drug Administation is conducting continued research to determine whether or not there is a need for regulatory limits.
The Ochratoxin is currently relugated in Europe, but it is not regulated stateside among domestic producers.
Head over to ClickOrlando.com for the full report.