Despite the claim in the initial proposal that there were no known barriers to completing this project in a timely fashion, the world conspired to make that a lie. Between March of 2020 and the end of October, on campus research at UC Davis was restricted to time sensitive research activities (“Phase 2 activities”) and was expanded to include some research that needed on site access on 30th October (“Phase 2x”). Restrictions continue regarding number of personnel, as do guidelines for high-risk employees. This was again changed when the state of California entered a second lockdown between Dec 22 to Jan 25 of 2021. It is anticipated that there is the potential for additional restrictions in on-campus access as the virus status changes.
In April, when it became clear that these restrictions would be a serious barrier, the project investigators purchased, and installed, equipment required for this project in an off-site location to allow the work to take place outside of these restrictions. This process was slowed by all the now familiar issues of operating in a COVID world. This offsite location now can run all the tests described in the original project proposal Table 3 (below) and will continue to be the research location until COVID restrictions are removed completely (UC Davis “Phase 4”)
As of December 2020, the equipment was installed and functional. The researchers are in the process of validating the equipment and proceeding on the original project’s Goal 1:
Goal 1: Standard precision tests will be done by repeated analysis with specific variations in sample, subsample, day, equipment and/or analyst to provide information on method repeatability and replicability. If adequate collaborators can be found, a reproducibility value will also be generated; if not, standard multiples of repeatability can be used as a working estimate of reproducibility.
The adjustment to the original timeline in response to this situation shows a delay of about eight months. We do not foresee additional delays due to COVID related restrictions other than any normal disruptions in deliveries or access.
One potential advantage of the new set up is the ability to increase the output of experimentation over the next several months and make up for loss of time. If that proves the case, the researchers will move onto the proposed future goals proposed in the original proposal.
Goal 4: Correlate the analytical responses of selected non-redundant tests to specific “risk” storage or transportation conditions (such as short time-extreme cold or long time- mild cold storage, with or without other extenuating conditions) which could impact the “potassium bitartrate stability” of the wines. This will determine the analytical method’s predictive abilities.