UBC research takes the headache out of red wine with new yeast strain

A new strain of wine yeast developed at the University of B.C. helps reduce amines, chemicals in red wine and Chardonnay that produce off-flavours and trigger headaches, hypertension and migraines in many people.

Food biotechnologist Hennie van Vuuren spent eight years in research and another seven years to test his genetically modified yeast, dedicating much of his life’s work as a scientist to the project.

About 30 per cent of the people in the world are sensitive to biogenic amines like histamines,” said van Vuuren. “The reason I did this is that I myself get severe headaches if I drink wines with these bioamines in them.”

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