International Code of Oenological Practices

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Malolactic fermentation activators

II.3.4.21 Malolactic fermentation activators



Addition of malolactic fermentation activators at the end or after the alcoholic fermentation to facilitate malolactic fermentation.


Promote the initiation, kinetics or completion of malolactic fermentation:

  • by enriching the environment with nutrients and growth factors for acid lactic bacterias,
  • by the adsorption of some bacteria inhibitors.


a)        Activators are microcrystalline cellulose or products derived from the degradation of yeasts (autolysates, inactivated yeasts, yeast walls);

b)       activators can be added to wine or fermenting wine before or during malolactic fermentation;

c)        the activators do not have to induce to organoleptic deviations in wine

d)       Malolactic fermentation activators must comply with the prescriptions contained in the International Oenological Codex.

Note: The use of malolactic fermentation activators might foster the growth of undesirable microorganisms with the production of undesirable compounds.

Recommendation of the OIV: