Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Charles Edwards

Charles Edwards

Professor; Food Scientist; WSU

Email: edwardsc@wsu.edu

Phone: (509) 335-6612
Office: FSHN 320

*Accepting graduate student applications

Research Interest

Our research program focuses on problem alcoholic fermentations, commercial application of non-Saccharomyces yeasts, malolactic fermentation, and spoilage issues such as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus in wines, ciders, and other fermented foods. Problem alcoholic fermentations are those where utilization of fermentable sugars by fermentative yeast is slow and/or undesirable off-odors and flavors are produced. While it is well documented that a lack of available nitrogen in musts can be a problem in Washington state and elsewhere, little has been known regarding the role of other nutrients such as vitamins. Key accomplishments of our laboratory include:

  • First published report that certain Lactobacillus species can inhibit wine yeast and therefore slow alcoholic fermentations.
  • Discovered two novel species of bacteria isolated from wines, Lactobacillus kunkeei (named for Dr. Ralph E. Kunkee, University of California Davis) and Lactobacillus nagelii (named for Dr. Charles W. Nagel, Washington State University).
  • First to document interrelationships between certain nutrients and available nitrogen that affect yeast growth and H2S production. Data generated were used to alter federal regulations to allow use of yeast nutrients.
  • Demonstrated a physiological state known as “viable-but-not-culturable” expressed by a spoilage yeast, Brettanomyces bruxellensis.

Current on-going projects include investigating commercial application of non-Saccharomyces yeasts as means to reduce concentration of ethanol in final wines as well as novel species and strains to induce malolactic fermentation. Besides grape wine, the laboratory is researching causes of H2S and other fermentation problems during the manufacture of apple and pear ciders.

Academic Courses Currently Taught

  • FS/Anim_Sci 405: Ciders and Other Fermented Foods lecture/laboratory (2018-present)
  • FS 460: Food Chemistry lecture (1993-2000, 2002, 2004-2005, 2012-2020, 2022-present)
  • FS/VIT_ENOL 465/565: Wine Microbiology & Processing lecture (2004, 2006, 2007-2020, 2022-present)
  • FS/VIT_ENOL 466: Wine Microbiology & Processing laboratory (2007-2011, 2013-2019; 2022-present)
  • Various guest lectures in courses taught at WSU, South Seattle Community College, and others.

Employment

1989-1992 Assistant Enologist/Extension Enology Specialist E-2, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (I.A.R.E.C.), Prosser, WA. Responsibilities include research (75%) and extension (25%).

1992-1995 Assistant Food Scientist/Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Responsibilities include research (75%) and undergraduate/graduate teaching (25%). Elected to the Food Science Graduate Faculty in 1992.

1995-2002 Associate Food Scientist/ Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

2001-2002 Sabbatical leave, Chr. Hansen, Hørsholm, Denmark.

2002-present Food Scientist/Professor, School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

Selected Recent Refereed Professional Articles

  • Paup*, V., T. Cook*, C. Diako, C.G. Edwards, and C.F. Ross. Sensory detection of red wine faults over time with flash profiling and the electronic tongue. Beverages 7: 52 (2021).
  • Aplin*, J.A., V.D. Paup*, C.F. Ross, and C.G. Edwards. Chemical and sensory profiles of Merlot wines produced by sequential inoculation of Metschnikowia pulcherrima or Meyerozyma guilliermondii. Fermentation 7: 126 doi.org/10.3390/fermentation7030126 (2021).
  • Wang*, X., D.C. Schlatter, D.A. Glawe, C.G. Edwards, D.M. Weller, T.C. Paulitz, J.T. Abatzoglou, and P.A. Okubara. Native yeast and non-yeast fungal communities of Cabernet Sauvignon berries from two Washington State vineyards, and persistence in spontaneous fermentation. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 350: 109225 (2021).
  • Aplin*, J.A., and C.G. Edwards. Impacts of non-Saccharomyces species and aeration on sequential inoculation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce lower alcohol Merlot wines. J. Sci. Food Agric. 101: 1715-1719 (2021).
  • Kruse, E.B., S. Revolinski, J.J. Aplin*, D.Z. Skinner, T.D. Murray, C.G. Edwards, and A.H. Carter. Gene expression and carbohydrate accumulation in winter wheat lines with different levels of snow mold and freezing cold tolerance. Plants 9(11): 1416. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111416 (2020).
  • Cartwright*, Z.M. and C.G. Edwards. Efficacy of warmed wine against Brettanomyces bruxellensis present in oak barrel staves. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 71:249-255 (2020).
  • Xing*, H. and C.G. Edwards. Hydrogen sulfide production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae UCD 522 in a synthetic grape juice medium deficient in vitamins B1 (thiamin) and/or B6 (pyridoxine). Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 69:379-384 (2019).
  • Beezer*, R.P., D.S. Mattinson, J.K. Fellman, B.L. Ewing, and C.G. Edwards. Impacts of depectinization of pear juice on alcoholic fermentation and indole formation. J. Sci. Food Agric. 99: 5792-5798 (2019).
  • Wade*, M.E., J.P. Osborne, and C.G. Edwards. Influence of must supplementation on growth of Pediococcus spp. after alcoholic fermentation. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic. 40: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21548/40-1-3163 (2019).
  • Edwards, C.G. and Z.M. Cartwright*. Application of heated water to reduce populations of Brettanomyces bruxellensis present in oak barrel staves. S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic. 40: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21548/40-1-3008 (2019).
  • Aplin*, J.A., K.P. White*, and C.G. Edwards. Growth and metabolism of non-Saccharomyces yeasts isolated from Washington state vineyards in media and high sugar grape musts. Food Microbiol. 77: 158-165 (2019).
  • Schumaker*, M.R., C. Diako*, J.C. Castura, C.G. Edwards, and C.F. Ross. Influence of wine composition on consumer perception and acceptance of Brettanomyces metabolites using temporal check-all-that-apply methodology. Food Res. Int. 116: 963-972 (2019).
  • Cartwright*, Z.M., B.R. Bondada, and C.G. Edwards. Survival of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in grape pomace and reduction of populations by application of heat and sulphites. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 25: 109-115 (2018).
  • Cartwright*, Z.M., D.A. Glawe, and C.G. Edwards. Reduction of Brettanomyces bruxellensis populations from oak barrel staves using steam. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 69: 400-409 (2018).
  • Edwards, C.G., and T.A. Oswald*. Interactive effects between total SO2, ethanol, and storage temperature against Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 66: 71-76 (2018).
  • Von Cosmos*, N., B.A. Watson, J.K. Fellman, D.S. Mattinson, and C.G. Edwards. Characterization of Bacillus megaterium, B. pumilus, and Paenibacillus polymyxa isolated from a Pinot noir wine from Western Washington State. Food Microbiol. 67: 11-16 (2017).
  • Oswald*, T.A. and C.G. Edwards. Interactions between storage temperature and ethanol that affect growth of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in Merlot wine. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 68: 188-194 (2017).
  • Von Cosmos*, N., and C.G. Edwards. Use of nutritional requirements for Brettanomyces bruxellensis to limit infections in wine. Fermentation 2: 17; doi:10.3390/fermentation2030017 (2016).
  • Strickland*, M.T., L.M. Schopp*, C.G. Edwards, and J.P. Osborne.. Impact of Pediococcus spp. on Pinot noir wine quality and growth of Brettanomyces. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 67: 188-198 (2016).
  • Petrova*, B.. Z.M. Cartwright*, and C.G. Edwards. Effectiveness of chitosan preparations against Brettanomyces bruxellensis grown in culture media and red wines. J. Int. Sci. Vigne Vin. 50: 49-57 (2016).
  • Zuehlke*, J.M., B.C. Childs*, and C.G. Edwards. Evaluation of Zygosaccharomyces bailii to metabolize residual sugar present in partially-fermented red wines. Fermentation 1: 3-12 (2015).
  • Childs*, B.C. J.C. Bohlscheid and C.G. Edwards. Impact of available nitrogen and sugar concentration in musts on alcoholic fermentation and subsequent wine spoilage by Brettanomyces. Food Microbiol. 46: 604-609 (2015).
  • Zuehlke*, J.M., D.A. Glawe, and C.G. Edwards. Efficacy of dimethyl dicarbonate against yeasts associated with Washington State grapes and wines. J. Food Proc. Pres. 39: 1016-1026 (2015).

Technical Books

  • Fugelsang, K.C. and C.G. Edwards. 2007. Wine Microbiology: Practical Applications and Procedures. Second edition. Springer Science and Business Media, NY. ISBN 978-0-387-33341-0.
  • Edwards, C.G. 2005. Illustrated Guide to Microbes and Sediments in Wine, Beer, and Juice. WineBugs LLC, Pullman, WA. ISBN 978-0-9772522-0-6.
  • Illustrated Guide to Microbes and Sediments in Wine, Beer, and Juice. WineBugs LLC, Pullman, WA. ISBN 978-0-9772522-0-6.

Book Chapters and Review Articles

  • Edwards, C.G. Current management approaches for Brettanomyces in a winery. Research Exchange, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. https://doi.org/10.7273/000002323 (2022).
  • Wade*, M.E., J.P. Osborne, S.C. Chescheir*, and C.G. Edwards. Role of Pediococcus spp. in winemaking. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 25: 7-24 (2018).
  • Zuehlke*, J., B. Petrova*, and C.G. Edwards. Advances in the control of wine spoilage by Zygosaccharomyces and Dekkera/Brettanomyces. In: Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. Volume 4, pp. 57-78. Annual Reviews, Palo Alto, CA (2013).
  • Bohlscheid, J.C. and C.G. Edwards. The importance of biotin and other key nutrients in alcoholic fermentations. In: Agricultural Research Updates. P. Gorawala and S. Mandhatri (Eds.). Nova Science Publishers Inc., Hauppage, NY 4: 77-111 (2012).
  • Osborne*, J.P. and C.G. Edwards. Bacteria in winemaking. In: Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. S. Taylor (Ed.). 50: 139-177 (2005).
  • Edwards, C.G. and R.B. Beelman. Tomato products. In: Food Chemistry Workbook I. J.S. Smith and G.L. Christen (Eds.). Chapter 4, pp. 31-39. Science Technology System, West Sacramento, CA (2002).

Other Teaching Activities

  • Chair/co-chair 37 graduate committees of M.S. and Ph.D. students.
  • FSHN 450/550 Food Fermentations lecture/laboratory (1993-2001; odd numbered years)
  • FS 461 Food Chemistry laboratory (1993-2000, 2002, 2004-2005).
  • FS/VIT_ENOL 496 Internship in a Winery (2007-2021).

Awards and Honors

  • Best written work in oenology (Prix de l’O.I.V.) for Wine Microbiology: Practical Applications and Procedures (authors: K.C. Fugelsang and C.G. Edwards), Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin, Paris, France (2007).
  • Excellence in Research award (Outstanding Researcher). College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Washington State University (2006).
  • Graduate student poster paper, “Interactive Effects of nitrogen and biotin on yeast growth, fermentation rate and volatile production” (authors: J.C. Bohlscheid and C.G. Edwards) placed 1st at the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, June 30 to July 2 (2004).
  • Graduate student oral paper, “Inhibition of malolactic fermentation by wine yeast during alcoholic fermentation” (authors: J.P. Osborne, J.C. Bohlscheid, and C.G. Edwards) placed 1st at the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, June 30 to July 2 (2004).
  • Finalist for the R.M. Wade Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Washington State University (1996).
  • Best research paper in the field of enology (senior author) published in Vol. 41 of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, American Society for Enology and Viticulture (1991).
  • Wine Microbiology: Practical Applications and Procedures (authors: K.C. Fugelsang and C.G. Edwards), Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin, Paris, France (2007).

Professional and Honor Societies

American Society for Enology and Viticulture, American Society for Enology and Viticulture (Northwest Chapter), Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Tau Sigma, Sigma Xi.

Education

Ph.D. in food science, Pennsylvania State University, 1989

M.S. in food science, Cornell University, 1985

B.S. in food science and technology, Oregon State University, 1982

A.A. in chemistry, San Joaquin Delta College, 1980