Time to start posting!

So, after a very lengthy break, I’M BACK! I wanted to start off with something that will hopefully become a common theme on my blog, and that is reviews of articles related to food science, food analysis and sensory evaluation of food… So here you go!

It’s Quick-Journal-Article-Review-Time! Or QJART as it shall now be known. This QJART is based on the following article:

     Effect of vine foliar treatments on the varietal aroma of Monastrell wines

     A.I. Pardo-García, K. Serrano de la Hoz, A. Zalacain, G.L. Alonso & M.R. Salinas.

     Food Chemistry 163 (2014) 258-266

It turns out winemakers can induce grapes to smell like smoke/ clove or whisky.

This area of research began after it was noted that grapes from areas which had experienced forest fire activity were producing wines with a smokey flavour. It was realised that the foliar treatment of certain volatile/ aroma compounds (such as those present in smoke) to grape vines was allowing the storage of these compounds as non-volatile glycosides (basically, by joining the volatile to a sugar molecule). Then, during the wine-making process, the volatiles could be released to provide their associated smell.

The analysis involved the use of Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify the aroma/ volatile compounds in the grapes/ wine, as well as analysis of the amount of glycosidic compounds by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and sensory analysis by a team of eight expert judges. These analyses were completed at three stages of the winemaking process: at the end of the alcoholic fermentation, and malolactic fermentation (the addition of bacteria), as well as six months later.

Using eugenol and guaiacol (smoke aroma compounds), and whiskey lactones (you guessed it, they make up the aroma of whiskey) in Monastrell red grapes, researchers in Spain identified an increase in glycoside content in grapes, but noted that there was little transferrance to wines, suggesting that these glycosides are stored in the grape’s skins. Also, the storage of guiaiacol in grapes was associated with lower sugar content (leading to lower alcohol levels in wine).

Even though the transferrance of aroma compounds to wines was quite small (an increase of 8-12% at most), tasters were still able to identify clove (eugenol and guaiacol) and woody/oak (whiskey lactone) flavours.

No word on when we will be receiving the first batch of ‘bacon’ wine.


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