Thesis by Liming Zeng wins Amorim award

Wednesday July 19 2017 by Vitisphere

The Chinese researcher who learnt French to study wine chemistry in Bordeaux, Liming Zeng, has won the 25th Académie Amorim award worth 5,000 euros. With a PhD in winemaking from the Higher Wine & Vine Institute (ISVV), the researcher completed her thesis in December 2015. Of the eight entries, her “Study of the macromolecular composition of grapes and wines: impact on sensorial quality”, received the highest score and the top award for Science & Research. The study, which focused on the chemical changes in wine during bottle ageing, developed a quantification methodology for polymerised pigments. It also led to the discovery of ring-shaped condensed tannins in wine that are more stable that B-type condensed tannins. The discovery is of paramount importance as the ring tannins are reported to have a repressive effect on peptides involved in Alzheimer’s disease.

Cork Oak award

On June 30, Académie Amorim also presented an award to the Burgundy researcher Aurélie Lagorce-Tachon who received the Cork Oak award worth 3,000 euros. The trophy has only been awarded three times since the Academy was established in 1992. Aurélie Lagorce-Tachon’s thesis, which was completed in December 2015, studies the “Mechanical properties, internal structure and transfer mechanisms of oxygen in cork”. The corks are x-rayed in order to study them and the research is a reminder of the need to check temperature and humidity during cork storage, without which the structure can be damaged. In laboratory conditions, Aurélie Lagorce-Tachon opened up a new and intriguing avenue for research: “When measuring permeability to oxygen through the cork system compressed in the neck of the bottle, oxygen transfer seems to be dictated by the glass/cork interface”. 

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