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Monday, February 24, 2020

A team of agricultural researchers in northern Israel is attempting to increase the concentration of beneficial compounds in red wine, without affecting the taste.

(JNS) Israeli researchers are attempting to produce the world’s first “super wine” that magnifies the health benefits of fermented grapes without compromising on taste, Israel21C reported.

For three years, researchers at Tel-Hai College in northern Israel have been working to make wine healthier by trying to raise the naturally occurring levels of resveratrol, part of a group of compounds called polyphenols. They are found in the skin of red grapes and act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can lead to higher risk of cancer and heart disease.

Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, the family of molecules with the most beneficial properties among the components in red wine. The research is focused on increasing the level of stilbenes and resveratrol in the wine grapes.

“Wine contains antioxidants and other substances that help our bodies defend against various ailments, but at a relatively low concentration,” Meir Shlisel, a senior lecturer in food science at the Academic and Technology College of Tel Hai told Israel21C. “We take the grapes and expose them to stress. This is a form of organic stress, not genetic modification or anything like that. It’s a bit like how parents pressurize their kids into academic achievements. The grapes naturally begin to produce substances that are healthy for us, only now these substances are at concentrations many times greater.”

The next stage in the research involves preparing wine from grapes with high levels of resveratrol and stilbenoids, and testing its organoleptic properties.