Legal additives to wine according to the TTB

A key point in natural wine is to avoid adding stuff to the wine during the process of making it. Many winemakers told me that they did not add anything to their wine. In other words, if they had an ingredients label, it would just say grapes (with no or very little sulfites). But this is by far the exception in the wine industry, as most winemakers tinker with their grape juice at different stages in the process. So what is that stuff? Those additives?

I looked it up at the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and I found two relevant lists:

  • Materials authorized for the treatment of wine and juice (62 items).
  • Materials authorized for the treatment of distilling material (11 items).

A copy of each of those very long lists (valid on April 1 2010) are below.
Sec. 24.246 Materials authorized for the treatment of wine and juice.

Materials Use
Acacia (gum arabic) To clarify and to stabilize wine.
Acetaldehyde For color stabilization of juice
prior to concentration.
Activated carbon - To assist precipitation during
fermentation. 

- To clarify and to purify wine.

- To remove color in wine and/or
juice from which the wine was
produced.

Albumen (egg white) Fining agent for wine.
Alumino-silicates (hydrated) e.g., 

Bentonite (Wyoming clay) and Kaolin:

To clarify and to stabilize wine
or juice.
Ammonium phosphate 

(mono- and di basic):

Yeast nutrient in wine
production and to start secondary
fermentation in the production of
sparkling wines.
Ascorbic acid iso-ascorbic 

acid (erythorbic acid):

To prevent oxidation of color and
flavor components of juice and
wine.
Calcium carbonate (with or
without calcium salts of
tartaric an malic acids):
- To reduce the excess natural acids
in high acid wine, and in juice
prior to or during fermentation. 

- A fining agent for cold
stabilization.

Calcium pantothenate: Yeast nutrient to facilitate
fermentation of apple wine.
Calcium sulfate (gypsum): To lower pH in sherry wine.
Carbon dioxide (including food
grade dry ice):
To stabilize and to preserve
wine.
Casein, potassium salt of casein: To clarify wine.
Citric acid: - To correct natural acid
deficiencies in wine. 

- To stabilize wine other than
citrus wine.

Copper sulfate: To remove hydrogen sulfide and/or
mercaptans from wine.
Defoaming agents (polyoxyethylene
40 monostearate, silicon dioxide,
dimethylpoly-siloxane, sorbitan
monostearate, glyceryl mono-oleate
and glyceryl dioleate):
To control foaming, fermentation
adjunct.
Dimethyl dicarbonate To sterilize and to stabilize
wine, dealcoholized wine, and
low alcohol wine.
Enzymatic activity:
Carbohydrase (alpha-Amylase): To convert starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Carbohydrase (beta-Amylase): To convert starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Carbohydrase (Glucoamylase,
Amylogluco-sidase):
To convert starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Carbohydrase (pectinase,
cellulase, hemicellulase):
To facilitate separation of juice
from the fruit.
Catalase: To clarify and to stabilize wine.
Cellulase: To clarify and to stabilize wine
and to facilitate separation of
the juice from the fruit.
Cellulase (beta-glucanase): To clarify and filter wine.
Glucose oxidase: To clarify and to stabilize wine.
Lysozyme: To stabilize wines from malolactic
acid bacterial degradation.
Pectinase: To clarify and to stabilize wine
and to facilitate separation of
juice from the fruit.
Protease (general): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Protease (Bromelin): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Protease (Ficin): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Protease (Papain): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Protease (Pepsin): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Protease (Trypsin): To reduce or to remove heat
labile proteins.
Urease: To reduce levels of naturally
occurring urea in wine to help
prevent the formation of ethyl
carbamate.
Ethyl maltol: To stabilize wine.
Ferrocyanide compounds (sequestered
complexes):
To remove trace metal from wine
and to remove objectionable
levels of sulfide and mercaptans
from wine.
Ferrous sulfate: To clarify and to stabilize wine.
Fumaric acid: - To correct natural acid
deficiencies in grape wine. 

- To stabilize wine.

Gelatin (food grade): To clarify juice or wine.
Granular cork: To smooth wine.
Isinglass: To clarify wine.
Lactic acid: To correct natural acid
deficiencies in grape wine.
Malic acid: To correct natural acid
deficiencies in juice or wine.
Malo-lactic bacteria: To stabilize grape wine.
Maltol: To stabilize wine.
Milk products (pasteurized whole,
skim, or half-and-half):
- Fining agent for grape wine or
sherry. 

- To remove off flavors in wine.

Nitrogen gas: To maintain pressure during
filtering and bottling or
canning of wine and to prevent
oxidation of wine.
Oak chips or particles, uncharred
and untreated:
To smooth wine.
Oxygen and compressed air: May be used in juice and wine.
Polyvinyl-polypyr-rolidone (PVPP): To clarify and to stabilize
wine and to remove color from
red or black wine or juice.
Potassium bitartrate: To stabilize grape wine.
Potassium carbonate and/or
potassium bicarbonate
To reduce excess natural
acidity in wine, and in juice
prior to or during fermentation.
Potassium citrate: pH control agent and sequestrant
in treatment of citrus wines.
Potassium meta-bisulfite: To sterilize and to preserve wine.
Silica gel (colloidal silicon
dioxide):
To clarify wine or juice.
Sorbic acid and potassium salt of
sorbic acid:
To sterilize and to preserve wine;
to inhibit mold growth and
secondary fermentation.
Soy flour (defatted): Yeast nutrient to facilitate
fermentation of wine.
Sulfur dioxide: To sterilize and to preserve wine.
Tannin: - To adjust tannin content in
apple juice or in apple wine. 

- To clarify or to adjust tannin
content of juice or wine
(other than apple).

Tartaric acid: To correct natural acid
deficiencies in grape juice/
wine and to reduce the pH of
grape juice/wine where
ameliorating material is used
in the production of grape wine.
Thiamine hydrochloride: Yeast nutrient to facilitate
fermentation of wine.
Yeast, autolyzed: Yeast nutrient to facilitate
fermentation in the production
of grape or fruit wine.
Yeast, cell wall/membranes of
autolyzed yeast:
To facilitate fermentation of
juice/wine.


Sec. 24.247 Materials authorized for the treatment of distilling material.

Materials Use
Ammonium phosphate (mono- and di basic) Yeast nutrient in distilling material.
Benzoic acid, potassium and sodium salts of benzoic acid To prevent fermentation of the sugar in wine being accumulated as distilling material.
Enzyme activity:
Carbohydrase (alpha- Amylase) To convert starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Carbohydrase (beta- Amylase) To convent starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Carbohydrase (Glucoamylase,
Amylogluco-sidase)
To convent starches to fermentable
carbohydrates.
Copper sulfate To eliminate hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans.
Hydrogen peroxide To reduce the bisulfite aldehyde complex
in distilling material.
Potassium permanganate Oxidizing agent.
Sodium hydroxide Acid neutralizing agent.
Sulfuric acid To effect favorable yeast development in
distilling material; to prevent
fermentation of the sugar in wine being
accumulated as distilling material; to
lower pH to 2.5 in order to prevent
putrefaction and/or ethyl acetate
development.

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