AVF Proj. ID: 617
Year Funded: 2015
Category: Enology - Wine Processing
Investigators: Susan Ebeler

Characterization of Aroma Volatiles and their Glycosidic Precursors in Grapes and Wines

Summary:

The complex aroma of wine is derived from many sources, with grape-derived components being responsible for the varietal character. The ability to monitor grape aroma compounds would allow for better understanding of how vineyard practices and winemaking processes influence the final volatile composition of the wine. Previously we developed a procedure using GC-MS combined with solid-phase microextraction (SPME) for profiling the free volatile compounds in grapes and wines. We have also recently developed a method for monitoring the ‘aroma potential’ of grapes and wines without the need for initial isolation of the glycoside precursor fraction. However, this method still depends on indirect measurement of the glycosides and acid or enzymatic hydrolysis is needed to release the volatile aglycone which can result in artefact formation. In the current project we validated a novel method using UHPLC-qTOF MS/MS for direct analysis of intact aroma glycosides in grapes with minimal artifactual changes in composition. Eighteen monoterpene glycosides were identified including a monoterpene trisaccharide glycoside, which is tentatively identified here for the first time in any plant. Additionally, while previous studies have identified monoterpene malonylated glucosides in other grapevine tissue, we tentatively identify them for the first time in grape berries. Finally, we observed that depending on the glycoside monitored, there is differential accumulation of monoterpene glycosides during maturation of Muscat of Alexandria berries. This work sheds important insight into possible biochemical changes in glycosylation during grape berry maturation. In addition, this research will allow us to better understand the effects of viticultural and winemaking practices on grape and wine components that affect flavor.

 

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