The use of cation exchange resins in wines: Effects on pH, tartrate stability, and metal content

Felipe Ponce, Yaneris Mirabal-Gallardo, Andrea Versari, V. Felipe Laurie


Treating wines with cation exchange resins allows the reduction of pH and contributes to limiting the formation of tartrate salts by exchanging cations such as potassium with hydrogen ions. This manuscript summarizes the results of a series of laboratory and winery-scale trials performed with the aim of evaluating the ion exchange process and its effects on the chemical composition of the treated samples. The laboratory-scale results showed that both the procedure employed for the activation of resins and the chemical composition of the wines affected the extent of the chemical changes occurring during the treatment. As such, the winery-scale trials showed that the resin-treated wines have significantly lower pH, higher total acidity, less tartrate formation (measured by weight), and a reduced amount of most metals analyzed. Wine samples blended with approximately 20% of cation exchange-treated samples (by volume) showed no signs of tartrate instability when assessed by a quick qualitative cold test.


Ion exchange resins; metals; pH; tartrate stability; wine

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