Cork programme promotes green credentials
A BBC TV programme about cork forests has highlighted the environmental benefits of natural cork and what the consequences might be if the wine industry were to switch to screwcaps and synthetic stoppers.
Titled Cork - Forest in a Bottle, the programme promotes natural cork as the green choice of closure and gives a wonderful overview of the 300 year old eco system the forests have generated - not to mention the 60,000 workers who rely on the industry for their livelihood. It's clear the cork industy can only survive if the wine industry continues using natural cork.
The programme touches on the issues of cork taint and claims that in 2006 the chemical TCA (2,4,6-Trichloroanisole), that causes musty taints in wine, had all but been eradicated from the stoppers as the onslaught of the screwcap, which has been reducing demand by a quarter, has forced cork producers to clean up their facilities and production processes. The message is that consumers need to support cork and that wine producers should promote natural cork as the environmentally friendly closure.
Meanwhile there's potentially good news for the cork industry. A process called Airocide developed by NASA scientists in the 1990s to keep fruit and vegetables fresh on a space station has been proven to eliminate TCA as well.
In concept trials 90-95% of TCA was removed from a sealed room within 24 hours. Independent UK wine laboratory Corkwise performed the trials on behalf of Airocide.