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Now Drink Aussie Wine for Constipation

Posted: Monday, 12 December 2011 18:12

Now Drink Aussie Wine for Constipation

Dec 12: In an effort to save energy, the Australian government has recently approved the use in wine of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, a chemical that can prevent crystallization and cloudiness in white and sparkling wines but which is also used for its laxative properties, a move that has been already been accepted by EU but banned in the US.

In its ruling, the Australian government wrote that “use of the additive to stabilize wine and sparkling wine is technologically justified and would be expected to provide benefits to wine producers and consumers as an alternative to current treatments.”

"Use of the additive to stabilize wine and sparkling wine is technologically justified and would be expected to provide benefits to wine producers and consumers as an alternative to current treatments,”  according to a spokesman. Traditional methods used to prevent crystallization like cooling and filtration require a lot of energy.

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which oversees labeling and food additives in wine, has approved more than 50 wine additives, including soy flour, which helps with fermentation; potassium metabisulfite, which is used to sterilize and preserve wine; and copper sulfate, to remove hydrogen sulfide, but the use of this chemical is banned, nevertheless.

Although its use is banned in the US,  Wendell Lee, general counsel from the Wine Institute- the trade group for California's wine industry, reportedly says, "I don't think the levels that are approved for use in wine in the EU and Australia will give that laxative effect. Perhaps winemakers should be turning this property into a selling point.” According to both the EU and Australian government, the chemical does not alter the taste or consistency of wine, and is not harmful to human health.

So next time you feel constipated, one of the more delicious medication options could be a glass of Australian wine. It is another matter that the amount would be too small to give any real benefit. Moreover, since the laws do not require it to be mentioned on the label, one may not even know for sure, if the chemical has been added by the winemaker. But it may still have the placebo effect. This is similar to wine drinkers looking for maximum resveratrol for better anti-oxidants while the fact is that the amount extracted by the winemaker is only a fraction because high extraction would negatively affect the wine flavours.


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