Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)

Definition - What does Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) mean?

Lactic Acid Bacteria or “LAB” is a common bacterium that develops when there are sugars present. During the fermentation process, there are many opportunities for this bacteria to come into contact with wine and to influence the chemical compounds within its molecular structure. In many cases (like with food products) LAB is responsible for helping fermentation and adding taste, but with wine, it can have detrimental effects.

WineFrog explains Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)

Lactic acid bacteria can gain entry into the winery through the grape skins and leaves. In wines, some LAB species can contribute to malolactic acid formation, but other species of LAB can spoil the wine and influence the flavors negatively.

The LAB bacteria requires sugar and nutrients to replicate, it can thrive in low oxygen levels, which makes wine susceptible to LAB contamination. The grapes can have this bacterium on them and then transfer it to the equipment used during the winemaking process, so, it is extremely important for winemakers to always sanitize equipment thoroughly.

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