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The enviable properties of cork

Cork is a collection of “dead” cells, which content has been consumed during growth of the cork oak. Most part of cork is gas enclosed in the airtight cells. Cork cells are a minute, straight-sided pentagonal or hexagonal prisms, disposed in a radial manner similar to a honeycomb structure. There are 30 to 42 million cells in one cubic centimeter of cork. The chemical composition of cork is (Klauber, 1920):

-Suberin........................58%
-Cellulose.....................22%
-Lignin.........................12%
-Water...........................5%
-Ceroids........................2%
-Remainder elements.....1%

Suberin, a mixture of fatty acids and heavy organic alcohols, is the basic substance of cork.
Cork properties that appeal to the wine and spirits industry are those that allow hermetic packaging: impermeability, compressibility and elasticity.


cork cells

 

 
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