Oz expert attacks champagne bubble theory

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London, Sep 29 (ANI): A recently stated theory that champagne bubbles deliver a sensory explosion has come under fire, with an expert quashing the way the study behind it was conducted.

European researchers have found that champagne bubbles not only tickle the palate, but also play a critical role in ferrying a host of sensory experiences to the drinker.

They claimed that champagne bubbles act like a continuous elevator bringing hundreds of chemical compounds to the surface that add organoleptics, known for providing taste and smell.

However, Australian expert Dr Leigh Francis has criticised the findings, saying that the paper is interesting the methodology is flawed.

In the study, lead author Professor Gerard Liger-Belair of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, and his team, used a mass spectrometer to analyse the bubbles.

Liger-Belair says there is about five litres of carbon dioxide "that must escape from a typical 0.75 litre champagne bottle" resulting in about 100 million bubbles per bottle.

They collected chemical samples from the bubbles by placing a microscope slide about two to five millimetres from the surface of the wine as it effervesced.

They then analysed the droplets with the mass spectrometer and compared with a sample taken from the main body of champagne.

The researchers found an overconcentration of compounds related to flavours or aroma, in some cases up to 30 times greater concentration.

But, Francis said that the evidence for "what they claim is not strong" claiming that there are a number of flaws in their approach.

He particularly said that the researchers have failed to include a study control that measures the concentration of volatile compounds in the area known as the head space-the region just above the surface of the wine that contains volatile compounds that are released by the wine.

Francis says there would be plenty of flavour compounds floating above the champagne surface "even if the bubbles weren't there," reports ABC Science.

He also suggested that the method of capturing the droplets is quite basic-they were unable to quantify the concentrations on each slide and did not repeat the study.

Francis also suggested that many of the compounds they isolated from the bubbles are actually not important flavour compounds and if they address some of the control issues it could help champagne and sparkling wine producers.

The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (ANI)

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