Since the Classical Antiquity when the Bulgarian lands’ population was mostly Thracian, the locals were famous for the wine they produced. “The millennial traditions that we have in wine making are not just history but a sound base that we comfortably sit on and draw motivation from to develop abreast of modern technology”,
wine expert Villy Galabova told Radio Bulgaria. Her words have found proof in the results measured by a laboratory in Tokyo suggesting that a Bulgarian wine is the world-record holder for a high content of antioxidants. Should we feel proud of the achievements of Bulgarian enologists?
“Yes, definitely”, says Villy Galabova
, and specifies that there are no world wine championships but that there are enough trustworthy and expert institutions that provide evaluation of wines under various criteria. “The measurement of antioxidants in wines and foods is called OPAC, Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity. The method has been worked out on order by the Agriculture Department of the United States. There are a few websites published in the United States by reputable institutions known as OPAC watchers. They carry latest news on content of antioxidants in drinks and foods. Our certificate issued by a prestigious Tokyo laboratory quotes 8700 units of antioxidants found in Bulgarian wine. Mind you that the average is up to 3000 units.”
Researchers contend that consumption of foods and drinks with a high OPAC value has the effect of slowing down ageing. The cranberry, one of the fruit varieties richest in antioxidants, contains 2400 OPAC units per 100 g, while 100 g of Bulgarian red wine has three times this amount. How much OPAC units should we consume then?
“The recommendable daily intake is from 3 to 5 thousand units daily. In this way the free radicals that represent an important factor of ageing are neutralized. Unfortunately, in our average food intake we only have about 1000 OPAC units. In this context, a drink of 50 g of Bulgarian red wine a day will provide us with a good supply of antioxidants.” What is the explanation behind the remarkable antioxidant qualities of the Bulgarian red wine – does it all boil down to the region, the climate or to the wine-making technology?
“In the end everything matters”, Mrs Galabova admits. “The wine that showed such good results has been made in the Thracian Valley, Southern Bulgaria that tends to be a very sunny region. Sun intensity is crucial for the accumulation of pigments in grape skin as well as of plenty of polyphenols in grape seed. After that a special technology that is quite innovative allows us to extract these healthy ingredients to the full. With the use of nanotechnology a concentrate is made that is added to the fermenting mass or later, to the wine itself.”
The technology described by Villy Galabova was invented by Ivan Kiuila, academician at the International Academy of Radio Electronics and corresponding member of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences. We now go back to Bulgarian wine and its antioxidant power.
“Over the recent years I’ve got no information about other Bulgarian wines to have been tested, however I was told by older colleagues that similar tests were made 25 years ago in France with the local Mavrud variety. It tested close to 4000 OPAC units. This shows that the Bulgarian nature is blessed and gives us the best where grapes and wine are concerned. However, the technology is important to maximize the antioxidant content of Bulgarian wines”, concludes Villi Galabova.
Translated by Daniela Konstantinova