Being absolutely colourless and having the faintest of aromas and barely noticeable taste, water is an extremely delicate product, and the presence of any foreign substance can alter its organoleptic properties. Before reaching the table, water bottles are constantly submitted to all kinds of environmental stress, such as knocks, changes in temperature, alternating light and darkness, and exposure to the ultraviolet light from the sun – all phenomena that could alter the organoleptic sensations of the product, which cannot be seen by the naked eye but which in some cases bring about a distinct change in the taste.
The best possible storage for bottles of mineral water is in a clean, cool, well-ventilated place, away from the sunlight, and from smoke and fumes, or whatever other substances that might impregnate the water with their odour. These conditions serve to keep the water with the same properties it had at the time of bottling, and must be observed throughout the water’s transit from the bottling plant and during its transportation to the point of sale, and thence to the customer.
More often than not, bottles of water are left standing in inappropriate places for considerable time, as people mistakenly believe that no alteration to the contents will take place. Instead it is worth starting straight away to provide the best conditions of storage so that the product’s qualities are conserved. Mineral waters are eminently safe products and are constantly subjected to controls at the source; however, as with food products, it is advisable to check the use-by date, and also to avoid stocking up large quantities that will not be consumed in reasonable time.
Once the bottles reach the storing place they should be left in their cartons, or placed vertically on shelves. In this way broken bottles can be removed, and the labels remain intact. Bottles stored thus should be occasionally dusted, and attention given to their rotation on the shelves, so that the earlier purchases are kept to the front and new stock put at the rear. To sum up, in order to reach the dining table in perfect condition, water should be treated with the same care and attention accorded to any other food product.
This text is taken from The S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Water Codex, a book written by international sommelier Giuseppe Vaccarini and Claudia Moriondo (Doctorate in Food Preparation Science). With this book S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna studied and codified the guidelines, the best techniques and tools to conduct water tasting, with the aim to create a common language for everyone who whish to explore this topic.
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