Champagne physicist Gérard Liger-Belair’s recent observations revealed in the Journal of Food Engineering

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Gérard Liger-Belair a physics professor at the University of Reims and expert in effervescence and oenology released his latest report entitled:

“Unveiling self-organized two-dimensional (2D) convective cells in champagne glasses”

Fabien Beaumont, Gérard Liger-Belair , Guillaume Polidori –
Laboratoire de Thermomécanique (GRESPI), UFR Sciences 13237697_10209713954748660_6688242121628904899_nExactes et Naturelles, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, 51687, Reims Cedex 2, France

Journal of Food Engineering

Volume 188, Pages 58–65

‘’’Our work around swirling movements which agitate the champagne in the flute (and their action on the exhaust of flavourings) continues.

In collaboration with our colleagues and friends of the grespi, we just released a new series of observations in the journal of food engineering, which makes the link between the number of vortices on the surface and the intensity of the effervescence in the glass.”

An Abstract of the Report

“Under standard tasting conditions, homogeneous stirring of champagne under the action of rising bubbles confers an advantage compared with a situation where the liquid phase would be at rest. Convection helps renewal of the immediate subsurface layers with champagne from the bulk, thus facilitating the evaporation of volatile organic compounds, and therefore better revealing the champagne “bouquet”. Here, spontaneous and self-organized two-dimensional convective cells were evidenced (at the air/champagne interface) in a laser-etched coupe poured with champagne, through laser tomography. Various regimes were evidenced, from a highly unstable 8-cells regime, to a very stable 4-cells regime. Moreover, by blowing air bubbles through a nozzle positioned at the bottom of a goblet poured with water, and by using Particle Image Velocimetry, similar 2D convective cells were also evidenced at the air/water interface, thus pointing out the crucial role of ascending bubbles behind the formation of self-organized 2D convection cells.”

“Amazing networks of convective cells revealed through laser tomography at the surface of champagne glasses.”

Highlights and Findings:

  • The stirring of champagne glasses under the action of rising bubbles increases the perception of aromas.
  • Self-organized 2D convective cells were observed in champagne glasses through laser tomography.
  • Identical convection cells were evidenced in a model experiment, with a bubbly flow blown in a water goblet.
  • Various regimes were evidenced, from a highly unstable 8-cells regime, to a very stable 4-cells regime.

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