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Researchers develop white wine with cholesterol-lowering benefits, discover Israeli wines healthier than French wines

, Prof. Aviram added alcohol naturally obtained from wine to the squeezed grapes during the preparation process. This increased the flavonoids more than five-fold, making them as potent as the much greater amount found in red wine.

"There are many different classes of flavonoids, and the ones in the specially prepared white wine are extremely potent," Prof. Aviram explains.

The alcohol added to the white wine resulted in a slightly stronger wine with 16 percent alcohol content (versus 13 percent in most wines) and since not all the grape sugar was converted into alcohol, it resulted in a dessert wine.

Prof. Aviram conducted the study in conjunction with the Binyamina Winery in Carmel, Israel. While he cannot share the formula, he notes that the kosher wine is currently available in Israel under the Binyamina label.

In a related study, Prof. Avirams team found that Israeli wines contain a relatively higher content of flavonols, a group of very potent flavonoids, than those found in French wines.

"This group of flavonoids is produced at an enhanced rate under intense sunlight, which may account for the higher content in Israeli wine," he explained.

The finding came about unexpectedly, Prof. Aviram says.

"We set out to understand why our red wine studies back in 1995 found twice as much reduction in cholesterol oxidation as the French studies. It turns out the difference lies not in our methods, but in the strength of the flavonoids in Israeli grapes," he said.


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Contact: Adar Novak
adar@ats.org
212-307-2519
American Society for Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
12-Apr-2001


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