Founded in 1890 by a pharmacist from Epernay (Marne), the Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC) was one of the first companies to specialise in oenological products. Since then, IOC has grown and was bought in 2008 by the Lallemand Group (a Canadian group), which specialises in the development, manufacture and marketing of yeast and bacteria.
“We launched the Tanninov project in 2017,” explains Bertrand Robillard (now a consultant after having been R&D manager at IOC). “The final objective was to be able to meet consumer demand for quality wines, without bitterness or astringency, while providing maximum food safety, so ideally without sulphites (an antioxidant used in oenology). So we looked for a solution that would meet these multiple product requirements.”
The first stage of the project was to carry out in-depth tannin characterisation work, carried out in partnership with the INRA in Montpellier, a laboratory with a worldwide reputation in the field of tannins and polyphenols. “We have carried out a chemical and physico-chemical mapping of these tannins, more precise and detailed than anything that had been done before. This extremely precise work has enabled us to acquire a great deal of technical credibility with our various partners and customers. This knowledge base has enabled us to develop formulations that are perfectly in line with customer and consumer demands.”
In addition to the concrete results that led to the marketing of a first product (Essential Antioxidant), the project also enabled IOC to “develop new working methodologies and collect a lot of data to use for our future formulations”. Other formulations are in preparation and should be released in the coming months.
“From the start of this project we have sought the help of the experts in the B4C network. Our objective was to get help and financial support.” The project benefited from European funding (ERDF) and from the Grand Est Region. “B4C helped us in the drafting and formatting of the project, to increase its chances of success. The funding obtained thanks to the support of B4C, made this project possible. We have achieved a level of quality and results that would not have been possible without this support,” concludes Bertrand Robillard.
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