Fera Science has launched the world’s most thorough wine proficiency testing scheme, meeting industry demands for a solution that will help ensure consistency of wine production year-on-year.
Proficiency testing provider Fapas, part of Fera Science, has established the New Wine Proficiency Testing Programme in partnership with Italian wine laboratory Isvea srl and Fera’s agent in Italy, StarEcotronics. The scheme will test for over 60 analytes (quality indicators and contaminants), enabling winery laboratories to analyse their clients’ products more thoroughly and have greater confidence in their measurements.
No other wine proficiency testing programme in the world currently includes as many analytes and therefore provide such a comprehensive service for clients.
What will the new testing programme involve?
With Italy leading the way on driving greater confidence in its country’s wines, over 50 Italian laboratories have registered with Fapas to launch the first round of proficiency testing today. The proficiency test will last four weeks and will include well known analytes that commonly appear on the labels of bottles, such as alcohol level and whether the wine contains sulphates, as well as other important indicators such as the presence of heavy metals, organic acids, pH level and overall acidity. A second round of testing will be launched in October 2018, and all will be open to laboratories around the world. Laboratories will test three types of wine – red, white and challenge wine (i.e. unknown in advance) – and can choose to test for any or all 60 plus properties, depending on the laboratories’ needs and capabilities.
The process involves samples of wine being sent to registered laboratories so that they can perform their analysis. The laboratories will then send their results to Fapas, which will analyse the data and generate reports to provide laboratories with an in-depth evaluation of how well they have performed. With this insight, laboratories can investigate the success of the methods they have employed and carry out necessary adjustments.
The programme is structured to be suitable for the entire wine industry, from independent wineries to large, multi-site laboratories, and has been launched to provide laboratories with an ongoing quality assurance tool for evaluating performance.
Why has the new proficiency test been established?
Proficiency testing is a key part of food testing services, which helps ensure the safety and quality of the food chain. The global market for food testing services is projected to grow from $13 billion in 2017 to $19 billion in five years, driven by increasing focus on food quality, stringent food safety regulations, advances in food testing technologies and commercial availability of rapid screening tests. (Source)
Europe represents the largest food testing market worldwide, prompted by increasing consumer awareness of healthy food options, improvements in industrial hygiene standards in food processing, and efforts of regulatory bodies to ensure the safety and authenticity of food products.
The global wine market is also anticipated to grow steadily during the next four years and will reach a global consumption of more than 30 billion litres by 2020 (Source). Key drivers include a renaissance in Chinese wine consumption and other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and India, where sales are expected to grow by double-digits across this period. In mature European markets such as Italy, Millennials are also helping to shape new wine drinking habits, for example by enthusiastically embracing sparkling wines.
With the prospect of greater consumption of wine across a wider selection, Fapas’ new proficiency testing programme will help meet the growing demand for advanced and rapid testing services across global markets.
What benefits will the new programme bring to laboratories, wine producers and consumers?
By adopting the improved testing regime, laboratories that perform well will be able to demonstrate their proficiency to accreditation bodies and producers, generating trust in their services. However, it is hoped that the new testing scheme will not only help engender confidence in specific laboratories, but in the wine testing industry as a whole. If adopted internationally, the tests will help establish a mechanism that enables producers to deliver consistent products and maintain their brand reputation, as well as provide consumers with a greater understanding and confidence in the wine they drink.
For more information on our wine proficiency tests (PTs), please get in touch.