Cork Research and Development

New Technology for an Ancient Resource

The cork industry is today one of the most advanced and innovative industrial sectors. It has enhanced its ancestral know-how with modern knowledge and technologies.

700 million euros have been invested in research and development over the last 15 years, which has made cork one of the most studied raw materials, ever. The result is evident in different areas. In addition to all the studies and advances in the traditional sector of stoppers, research in the sector has given rise to benchmark works of architecture and design, sports equipment of top-level competition, high-tech materials for aerospace, composite polymers for the transport sector. The heavy investment in R&D, applying the most advanced technologies in the different stages and processes, opens the door to innovative and more and more surprising products.

 

Improving Wine Corks

Continued advancements in chemical analysis have increased the speed and detection limits for identifying TCA.  Current technology now boasts of abilities to detect 0.5ppt of TCA (a fraction of the sensory threshold) in as little as 3 seconds.

 

These advancements allow for automated machines that can sort through individual corks to identify and remove those that might be suspected of causing cork taint in the future.

 

Other innovations have involved combinations of steam, pressure, ethanol and other natural solvents applied at various stages in the process to remove TCA from cork wood before and after the final closures is manufactured.

 

The combination of these advancements has reduced the incidence of cork taint in modern corks to a level considerably lower than other common wine faults.