Development of a Novel Approach for Controlling and Predicting Residual Sugars in Wines

Ronit Yaa’ri, Eitan Schneiderman, Vicky Ben Aharon, Maria Stanevsky, Elyashiv Drori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Residual sugars (RS) in wine are the sugars that remain in a wine after fermentation is complete. In some wine styles, such as semi-dry wines, the accurate measurement of the RS concentration is critical for both qualitative and legislative reasons. Brix, measured by a simple refractometer, can give a good estimation of the RS concentration in the must, but during fermentation, the presence of alcohol leads to inaccurate sugar measurements. In order to measure the RS accurately, other more precise techniques are used, most of which are expensive or require professional skills. Therefore, novel approaches for rapid, easy, and practical measurements for estimating the sugar content have been suggested over the years. However, most of these methods do not supply an actual measurement of RS but rather give brix values, and those that measure RS involve special equipment, which is less relevant for small wineries. This study suggests a novel model for predicting and controlling the wine’s residual sugar. The data the model uses is the initial brix of the must before fermentation and its density during fermentation. The model was created by measuring actual residual sugars during the fermentation of natural and synthetic musts, with various degrees of initial brix levels, while simultaneously measuring their densities and correlating the two measurements. Linear regression between the residual sugar of the wine and its density was obtained for all treatments and repetitions (i.e., different values of must initial brix) with R2 values above 0.97. Using the model, one can calculate (before commencing the fermentation) the density values at which the fermentation will reach a particular desired residual sugar value for a specific initial brix level; the model is applicable for the fermentation conditions used in this work, i.e., brix levels of 18–27 °Bx, Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (fx-33 and fx-10) in common conditions of fermentation regarding temperature and aeration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • brix
  • density
  • residual sugars

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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