DECONTAMINATION AND CLEANING PROCESS

Vacuum Thermal Desorption (VTD)

  • Spanish patent: ES 2 423 255 B1

  • European patent: EP 13 158 850.1

The cork

The physicochemical characteristics and properties of cork, such as is porosity, make it susceptible to absorbing a wide variety of organic compounds and contaminants, including TCA. These substances may be transferred into the wine after bottling, altering its organoleptic properties (“cork taint”).

VTD consists of applying heat and vacuum in a gentle, controlled manner. This breaks down the bonds between the contaminants and the cork, allowing them to be removed from the structure.

The bonds are broken by the heat, while the vacuum maintains the contaminants in their gaseous state and drives them out of the cork.

This makes VTD the first procedure to use thermal desorption to decontaminate cork.

As the process is not extractive, it does not require solvents or any other substances alien to the cork. This ensures a rapid process, where there is no risk of contamination to either the cork or the environment.

By controlling the temperature and vacuum pressure, the compounds in the cork can be eliminated progressively. In general, the most volatile substances are the first to be removed.

Using VTD, TCA may be totally eliminated. The procedure also eliminates a great many other substances and contaminants (more than 100 compounds have been detected and eliminated from cork using this procedure). This breakthrough ensures the homogeneity and neutrality of the cork with regards to its organoleptic properties.

VTD is a gentle, controlled process that protects the natural properties and characteristics of cork. In addition to cleaning and decontaminating, it also sterilises cork.

It can be used to clean cork in any format:

  • Granules

  • Stoppers: natural cork, colmated cork, agglomerated cork and technical cork.

  • Discs, strips, sheets…

Thus, VTD is the first procedure capable of efficiently eliminating TCA from natural cork, maintaining its properties and characteristics and ensuring the organoleptic neutrality of stoppers.

Research

At TRATACORK, we work to develop innovative technological solutions and services, aimed at producing excellent quality cork stoppers.

With this aim, TRATACORK makes its VTD technology available to stopper manufacturers, enabling them to eliminate the risk of contamination by TCA and other contaminants, while guaranteeing the absolute sensorial neutrality of their product.

Technology

TRATACORK, designs and builds licensed equipment to treat cork in granule, stopper and disc forms, tailored to the requirements and specifications of each client.

We provide technological support and action protocols to optimise TCA elimination from a range of stopper types, at different contamination levels. We also offer training in VTD technology and operating the equipment.

Developing solutions

As R&D&I experts and consultants, TRATACORK is equipped to deal with many of the problems that arise in stopper manufacture and quality control, offering the best solutions.

At your service

Additionally, TRATACORK offers a cork cleaning service for companies who wish to improve the quality of their stoppers but who, due to size or other constraints, are not interested in acquiring the technology.

Discover the future

The organoleptic neutrality of natural and technical cork, retaining its natural properties

Contact us