New Fast and Accurate Method for Detecting Brett in Wine

Written by: The Yass Phoenix


AWRI’s Affinity Labs is offering a new flow cytometry-based method known as BrettCount for detecting viable Brettanomyces cells in wine.

Brettanomyces, also known as Brett, is a yeast that imparts plastic or animal aromas, such as sticking plasters, smoke, leather, or sweaty horses, to wine. To put a different spin on it, Brettanomyces could cause spoilage in wines via the production of volatile phenol compounds.

The BrettCount method uses a mixture of fluorescent gene probes targeting different regions of the 16s ribosomal RNA of Brettanomyces cells to rapidly detect and quantify them in wine. The method has high specificity and does not cross react with other species that may be present in wine. The limit of detection is 100 cells/mL. Only viable cells are detected, although some cells that are not culturable under laboratory conditions can also be detected.

BrettCount is rapid, with results obtained within one day. A recent comparative study showed that BrettCount correlates better with the ‘gold standard’ selective plating method than other rapid methods. For more information or to submit samples for BrettCount analysis, contact

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