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Is the salmonella (commonly associated with eggs) a problem to consider when fining with egg whites?

TroubleShooting

Bob McKee — Tucker, Georgia asks,
Q

Is the salmonella (commonly associated with eggs) a problem to consider when fining with egg whites?

A
Egg whites are an ancient, traditional and natural additive and are sometimes used to pull excessive tannins out of wine in a gentle treatment process known as “fining.” Practiced for centuries all over the winemaking world, a solution of egg whites, water and salt are stirred into the wine and allowed to settle out, pulling harsh or excess tannins with it. The wine is then racked off of the sediment, leaving the phenolic substances, and the egg white protein behind. When I was a student at UC-Davis one of my microbiology professors always used to tell us, “No known human pathogen can survive in wine.” She used this to point to the fact that wine has been used for thousands of years in medicine and first aid for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Wine’s naturally high acid and high alcohol provides an environment hostile to many kinds of bad bugs that can harm people (human pathogens). Everyone from ancient Romans to medieval knights were aware that swabbing a wound with wine (though it probably stung) was a better way to
Response by Alison Crowe.