Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 5, pp 2033–2051 | Cite as

Measures to improve wine malolactic fermentation

  • Krista M. Sumby
  • Louise Bartle
  • Paul R. Grbin
  • Vladimir JiranekEmail author


This review focuses on the considerable amount of research that has been directed towards the improvement of efficiency and reliability of malolactic fermentation (MLF), which is important in winemaking. From this large body of work, it is clear that reliable MLF is essential for process efficiency and prevention of spoilage in the final product. Impediments to successful MLF in wine, the impact of grape and wine ecology and how this may affect MLF outcome are discussed. Further focus is given to how MLF success may be enhanced, via alternative inoculation strategies, MLF progress sensing technologies and the use of different bacterial species. An update of how this information may be used to enhance and improve sensory outcomes through metabolite production during MLF and suggestions for future research priorities for the field are also provided.


Oenococcus oeni Lactobacillus Malolactic fermentation Wine 



This review was supported by The Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production (; project number IC170100008) funded by the Australian Government with additional support from Wine Australia and industry partners. The University of Adelaide is a member of the Wine Innovation Cluster (

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wine and Food Science, School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of Adelaide, Waite CampusAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, University of Adelaide, Waite CampusAdelaideAustralia

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