Cross Contamination of 2,4,6: Trichloroanisole in Cork Stoppers

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Cork stoppers are the preferred choice for sealing bottled wines around the world. However, the quality of cork stoppers is also defined by the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), which gives the wine an unpleasant moldy/musty taste. It is a matter of concern for both cork stopper manufacturers and wine producers whether TCA can be transported between stoppers. As little is known about cross contamination between stoppers, this work provides enough experimental data to discuss the extent of TCA transfer in naturally contaminated stoppers in the liquid and gas phase that can be useful to the cork industry and the wine industry. We found that when a clean stopper is soaked together with a contaminated one in hydro-alcoholic solution, 12% of the TCA can be transferred. In gas-phase contamination, only stoppers with 12 ng/L, or more, contaminate clean stoppers when enclosed together for several days. In a second experiment, where clean corks were exposed to a controlled contaminated environment, it was found that TCA contamination was not confined to the outermost layer of the stoppers. Based on these findings, some recommendations are given to prevent TCA cross contamination between stoppers during the cork stopper manufacturing, storage, wine making, and bottling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6747-6754
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


  • 2,4,6-trichloroanisole
  • cork
  • cork taint
  • cross contamination
  • quality control
  • TCA
  • wine


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