New Wine Yeast Means Less Headaches

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VANCOUVER — A new strain of wine yeast has made its way into some commercially sold red vinos, The Vancouver Sun reports.

The yeast, known as Malolactic yeast (or ML01), was developed at the University of British Columbia by food biotechnologist Hennie van Vuuren and produces less amines, which can cause off flavours headaches, migraines and hypertension. The yeast has been approved for commercial use by Health Canada, Environment Canada and the U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration, but winemakers who use it aren’t yet required to indicate its presence on the wine’s label.

“Several wineries in Canada and the United States are using the yeast,” van Vuuren told the Sun. “About 30 per cent of the people in the world are sensitive to biogenic amines like histamines. The reason I did this is that I myself get severe headaches if I drink wines with these bioamines.”

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