A-Line | HES⁠-⁠SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland


Significant current winemaking challenges include the occurrence of sluggish and stuck fermentations where yeast activity is slow or halts, and the excessive production of acetic acid. The yeast hyperosmotic stress response is a major causative of these problems which are increasingly common because of the high grape must sugar concentrations brought about by warming climates.

Modern fed-batch fermentations are capable of reducing yeast stress and the production of acetic acid, but require a cross-disciplinary approach. The A-Line project brings together chemical engineers, microbiologists and automation specialists from various HES. It marries cutting edge methods for the in-line measurement of fermentation metabolites and process automation technology with the age-old art of winemaking in order to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and improve fermentation methods and wine quality.

The project has developed and validated methods for in-line sugar and alcohol analysis during fermentations by vibrational spectroscopy in the near and mid-IR range. Integration with modern process automation systems has demonstrated the feasibility of carrying out fed-batch fermentations that significantly reduce the formation of acetic acid and improve yeast viability. 

An animation of the measurement and control system is provided here.


Dr Ramon Mira de Orduna

HES⁠-⁠SO Rectorate
Route de Moutier 14
2800 - Delémont
T +41 58 900 00 00 - F +41 58 900 00 01
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