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New yeast strains
yeast
A total of six hybrid yeasts developed by ARC in Stellenbosch have been commercialised under license agreements.
The Agricultural Research Institute (ARC) yeast project has developed numerous novel yeast strains in response to the changing demands of the wine industry. A total of six hybrid yeasts have been commercialised under license agreements with Anchor Yeast.

Currently four hybrid yeast strains within the Anchor Yeast portfolio are ARC products, and these yeasts are amongst the company’s top performing products in the market:

* NT50 enhances strawberry, raspberry and cherry, blackberry and black currant and spicy aromas in red wines.

* NT112 enhances blackberry and black currant, red berry and minty aromas in red wines.

* NT116 promotes blackberry and black currant aromas in red wines, as well as passion fruit, grapefruit and guava and citrus aromas in white wines, especially Sauvignon blanc.

* NT202 enhances red berry, blackberry, black currant and prune aromas in red wines).

ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij in Stellenbosch conducts various research projects on wine yeasts. Over the years, these projects received attention for yeasts suitable for amongst others, the production of aromatic white wines, varietal and Paarl regional Shiraz wine, chardonnay regional wine, barrel fermented chenin blanc, brandy base, pinotage fermented at higher temperatures from higher sugar musts, lower alcohol wines, pinot noir wines from cold macerated red grapes, as well as genetically different yeasts.

An international yeast manufacturer, CHR. Hansen (Denmark), signed a licencing agreement with the ARC, pertaining to commercialisation of a natural isolated Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain, namely Jazz - NI6 developed for the production of varietal red wines e.g. shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The yeast can also be used for the production of fruity white wines in conjunction with a non-Saccharomyces strain.

Yeast manufacturer Enartis (Italy) also recently signed a material transfer agreement (MTA) with the ARC for the pilot-scale drying of four promising hybrid yeast strains developed for the production of aromatic Sauvignon blanc wines.

ARC-Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Senior Research Manager, Prof Bongani Ndimba said, “One of the objectives of our campus is to grow, develop and transform the South African wine industry by opening markets and business opportunities that positively contribute to South Africa’s bio economy strategy and national developmental plan”.

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