Optical fiber sensors for the assessment of oak barrels used in wine aging

Maria Konstantaki Aging in oak barrels, gives wine its unique mouthfeel and bouquet character due to the release of tannins and aromatic compounds. The limited availability of oak in conjunction with the demanding barrel fabrication process increases the cost of oak barrels.

Furthermore, oak barrels have a limited lifespan of use and after a number of repeated usage in wine aging they must be replaced. Currently the assessment of the condition of an oak barrel is empirical and thus subjective. A quantitate assessment method would limit cost and improve wine quality and productivity.

When filled with wine the Moisture Content (MC %) of oak increases due to the hydroscope nature of wood. Since MC progression along the thickness of the oak stave critically depends on the prior usage of the barrel, a sensor able to accurately detect the wetting condition of oak in situ, would be instrumental in assessing its condition.

The proposed sensor has miniature size and weight, for insertion into the walls of the barrel with minimal disturbance, and remote interrogation as to be operational in the restricting environment of winery cellars. Optical fibre sensors constitute an ideal solution for the specific application meeting the above requirements inherently.

This study is carried out in collaboration with the Winemakers’ Association of the Department of Heraklion – Wines of Crete within the framework of  ACTPHAST 4.0 innovation project

Interview

What drives you?
Developing novel optical fibre sensors and actively promoting their adoption by end users.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
To learn about the application of new technologies in winery industry.

Maria Konstantaki received the B.S. degree in Physics from Crete University, Greece in 1993 and the PhD in Electrical Engineering from Strathclyde University, Scotland in 1997. From 1994 to 1997 she was a Marie Curie PhD research fellow in Strathclyde University and in 1998 she joined the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) where she now holds the position of Principal Application Scientist. Her current scientific interests are focused in the development of optical fibre sensors and the endorsement of the technology by end users. Dr Konstantaki is a co-author of more than 100 journal and conference publications.

Maria Konstantaki will speak at the 2021 edition of the Smart Farming Conference.

Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) has been a key participant of the Access to Research Infrastructures programme (since 1990 as a Laser facility and now as a facility in Cultural Heritage and Soft Matter as well). A number of important scientific achievements by members of the Institute have led to publications in high impact journals and to international awards and distinctions for excellence to its research personnel.

IESL aims at improving the human potential by providing education and specialized training to post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students and technicians in specific fields of advanced technology, which is an essential factor for the enhancement of competitiveness, innovation and employment. Moreover, it aims at developing expertise in selected advanced technological fields for the benefit of Greek and European industry and the broader public sector.

For the forthcoming period, IESL will make all necessary efforts to continue expanding its National and European role in Research Infrastructures, to strengthen its international presence in aspects of micro/nano-electronics and photonics, to strengthen further its international importance in the area of advanced technologies in the preservation of cultural heritage, to establish its international influence in the area of (nano)materials for applications in energy and environment, to establish its international weight in the area of graphene based materials and devices, to improve its ability to exploit the research outcome and the relevant IP, to provide services and specialized training. to strengthen further its relation with the Society.

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