Magazine article ASEE Prism

Here's to More Research

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Here's to More Research

Article excerpt

THE COMPLEX and pleasing taste of a well-made wine results from a cocktail of many chemicals mixing it up during fermentation. But why and how they manage to produce such a beguil-ing drink is something that's long stumped scientists. It's a secret that many of them are still trying to divine. For instance, Carnegie Mellon University chemical engineering professor Lorenze Biegler wants to develop computer models that will help vintners to consistently make fine wines, rather than reiving on the hit-or-miss methods now employed. Beigler is initially looking at yeast, which is key to fermentation. Alcohol is created when yeast consumes the sugar from the grape juice. "We would like to come up with a reasonably good model of how this yeast cell behaves," he says. …

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