Food colouring found in blue wines

Friday July 12 2019 by Vitisphere

 ImaJYne is not aiming to “sell high volumes but a novel product revolving around the sea”, said Milanini. ImaJYne is not aiming to “sell high volumes but a novel product revolving around the sea”, said Milanini. - Photo credit : Domaine Pozzo di Mastri

In wines labelled Vindigo (‘Mediterranean Chardonnay’ by shipping firm Mediterravin) and ImaJYne (by the Corsican estate Pozzo di Mastri), “there is no doubt that the blue colour comes from a food additive - Brilliant Blue FCF or E133. There is nothing natural about it, it is a synthetic dye used for Curaçao”, stated chemistry research professor Fabrice Collin of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse.

After mobilising Master’s degree students in analytical chemistry and instrumentation, the search for the molecule responsible for the blue colour in the two most fashionable wines of the summer of 2018 has just been found using mass spectrometry. Published in European Food Research and Technology, the scientific article reports average concentrations of 8.62 and 5.46 mg/L of Bleu Brillant for Vindigo and ImaJYne.

Whilst the proponents of Vindigo and its natural production method could not be reached, ImaJYne refutes any addition of artificial products. “We don't use E133, it's not the same process as Curaçao or Vindigo”, explained Sylvain Milanini, CEO of the Corsican estate Pozzo di Mastri (Figari). Referring to a secret “patented process”, his wine-based flavoured drink allegedly uses 0.2 mg/l of “mineral salts” to stabilise the colour obtained after “night harvested crops soaked in seawater and fermented with seaweed, marine yeasts and mineral salts”.

Stemming from algae, “spirulina is a natural blue dye. But we didn't detect it, unlike FCF Brillant. And anthocyanins did not produce the colour at this pH”, dismissed Fabrice Collin.

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