MLF Starter Cultures

Simple, Secure, Speedy

This unique malolactic bacterial starter culture comprises of a mixture of Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria. It is the first commercially available blend of its kind in the world and was introduced in the South African wine industry harvest 2011. The blend was developed by the Institute for Wine Biotechnology (IWBT), Stellenbosch University, funded by Anchor Yeast.

Most bacterial starter cultures are Oenococcus oeni for the simple reason that it is the most reliable lactic acid bacteria (LAB) for completion of malolactic fermentation (MLF). However, Lactobacillus plantarum commonly occur in spontaneous MLF’s making a profound contribution to the final sensory quality of the wine.

Various Oenococcus and Lactobacillus strains isolated from successful South African spontaneous malolactic fermentations were evaluated for their ability to complete MLF as well as their sensory attributes. One specific combination stood out on red wine fermentations when compared to other well-known commercial cultures and the Oenococcus culture on its own. The main purpose of adding the Lactobacillus culture to the Oenococcus culture is that of its sensory attributes. Lactobacillus is also more active at higher pH than Oenococcus allowing for a faster onset of MLF in high pH musts.

NT 202 Co-Inoculant is recommended for co-inoculation only. It is added simultaneously with yeast addition. There is no risk of high volatile acidity formation or biogenic amine production.

The advantages of using NT 202 wine yeast and NT 202 Co-Inoculant bacterial starter culture:

Simplicity – Inoculate yeast and bacteria at the same time in the juice
Speed – MLF is completed zero to 14 days after alcoholic fermentation under optimal conditions
Security – co-inoculation of yeast and bacteria has several advantages over inoculation after alcoholic fermentation:

  • The heat of the fermentation favors bacterial growth
  • The bacteria is inoculated into 0% alcohol and has time to adapt to rising alcohol levels
  • Ample nutrient supply
  • The wine can be sulphured sooner and is thus protected against microbial spoilage (Brettanomyces)

Use only if:

  • The total SO2 of the juice is less than 50 mg/l
  • Juice pH is higher than 3.4
  • Potential wine alcohol is less than 15.5%
  • Wine fermentation temperature is between 20 – 30°C