How is Technology Enhancing Wine Making Process

By Food and Beverages | Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Video analysis, drones, satellite imaging, and plant and people sensors combined with artificial intelligence collectively termed digital agriculture give makers and sellers of wine a plus in an industry peppered with uncertainty.

FREMONT, CA: Developments in a broad range of technologies can help growers and winemakers alleviate the negative effect of smoke taint and other volatile anomalies like frost, pests, drought, and disease. An international consortium of experts led by a plant physiologist conducted leading-edge research to collect high-resolution data from vine to glass and examine it in meaningful ways.

Video analysis, drones, satellite imaging, and plant and people sensors combined with artificial intelligence collectively termed digital agriculture give makers and sellers of wine a plus in an industry peppered with uncertainty.

Delectable grapes depend on the weather and cultivation procedures, including irrigation, fertilization, pest control, and canopy management. The team has developed tools that depend on infrared thermal imagery and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) analysis tied with supervised machine learning modeling to evaluate smoke contamination in leaves and measure smoke taint in the grapes. Infrared cameras disclose a vine’s heat signature, which is disrupted by smoke. Employing MATLAB, the team developed computer vision algorithms that utilize the heat signature to foresee smoke contamination in canopies with 96 percent accuracy. NIR and machine learning algorithms can also give clues to grape ripeness.

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Among other variables affecting and possibly devastating vineyards, an insect named phylloxera is one of the most notorious. With a nose containing over 300 million smell receptors, which results in 100 times the sensitivity, dogs

 are being trained to identify the scent of pheromones released by phylloxera and other chemical compounds produced. While the dogs were extremely skilled at locating pests, they were not good at determining the perfect beer aroma. To complement the expert dog noses, the team has developed a low-cost, portable electronic nose or e-nose that has an arrangement of sensors that can detect nine different gases, including carbon dioxide, ethanol, carbon oxide, hydrogen peroxide, and methane.

In due course, understanding consumer reaction is crucial to selling wine, and the researchers have developed technology for that, too. The system that was used to refine the beer was used to apply to wine and sparkling wine, which incorporates a robotic arm, e-nose, and cameras. It starts with a seamless pour from the robotic arm, designed to fill the glass the same way each time without tiring.

High-definition cameras were implanted on the beer capture visual information, including color, foam formation and dissipation, and bubble size. An e-nose, located over the top of the glass, measures the gases released. Machine learning and computer vision algorithms crunch the camera and sensor data and position the beer among a library of 250 others that were earlier analyzed.

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