High pressure homogenization (HPH) is an emerging technology with several possible applications in the food sector, such as nanoemulsion preparation, microbial and enzymatic inactivation, cell disruption for the extraction of intracellular components, as well as modification of food biopolymer structures to steer their functionalities. All these effects are attributable to the intense mechanical stresses, such as cavitation and shear forces, suffered by the product during the passage through the homogenization valve. The exploitation of the disruptive forces delivered during HPH was also recently proposed for winemaking applications. In this review, after a general description of HPH and its main applications in food processing, the survey is extended to the use of this technology for the production of wine and fermented beverages, particularly focusing on the effects of HPH on the inactivation of wine microorganisms and the induction of yeast autolysis. Further enological applications of HPH technology, such as its use for the production of inactive dry yeast preparations, are also discussed.
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