Functional Technologies Corp. is pleased to report a successful commercial 2012 launch of its new selectively bred Phyterra-branded hydrogen sulphide (H₂S)-preventing wine yeast strains that have also been selected for low sulphur dioxide (SO₂) production. This follows trial purchase releases of the Company's initial yeasts, over the past two years, which have garnered high praise from hundreds of wine producers in the U.S. and Europe. Marketed by the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Phyterra Yeast Inc., its wine yeast product portfolio is now being represented by seven respective distributors in ten countries including the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Chile, Canada and soon New Zealand.
In the U.S., currently Phyterra's lead market entry, Doug Manning, sales manager for distributor BSG Wine said, "We are very pleased with this season's sales growth from Phyterra's H₂S -preventing yeast strains, now produced by selective breeding and have been selected for low sulphites (or) Total Sulphur Dioxide (SO₂) levels. Due to unexpectedly strong interest from U.S. commercial wineries we have found ourselves having to restock Phyterra's product from the Company twice this harvest, and this harvest is just beginning to get moving. Imagine now being able to make wine without H₂S and with low sulfites. You don't have to imagine anymore. That is what our customers are getting excited about with Phyterra's H₂S-preventing wine yeasts versus competing products."
The Company's proprietary H₂S -preventing wine yeasts provide winemakers with a seamless solution to prevent and reduce the sensory defects (e.g. a distinct, noxious rotten-egg smell) associated with H₂S, a gas naturally emitted as a byproduct of fermentation that represents a well-recognized, widespread industry problem and which can lead to a potential devaluation of wine. Functional Technologies' Phyterra line of wine yeasts enable winemakers to prevent the problem from occurring, rather than resorting to remedial solutions that remove H₂S after the wine has already been tainted in production. This in turn can provide winemakers and wineries with considerable time, labor and cost savings.
"These strains have demonstrated confirmed normal winemaking characteristics and independent evaluations from many commercial wineries and winemakers have reported that wines produced with the Company's H₂S -preventing wine yeasts are more fruity, floral and balanced with very elegant and pleasant aromas compared to similar commercial strains available on the market," said Howard Louie, the Company's chief business development officer. "Our product team is already working on adding to our current line-up of yeast strains Vivace, Allegra and Andante. This will soon provide winemakers with more choices that enable them to meet their varying needs in respective winemaking regions, which in turn should enhance solid sales growth for Phyterra's products throughout the global wine industry."