Defining a chemical wine signature

Project Number
IWBT-Y 14-01

Project title
Defining a chemical wine signature

Project leader
Bauer, F F

Stellenbosch University. Department of Viticulture and Oenology

Team members
Bauer, F F
Fairbairn, S C
Brand, J
Ferreira, A C
Rossouw, D

Project description
An important aim in wine science today is the linking of the sensory or perceived character and ‘quality’ of wine to a specific chemical composition. Indeed, chemistry provides the final set of ‘hard’ scientific data for the assessment and evaluation of any wine, but subjective sensory perception and consumer liking are economically the most relevant factors. Yet these two levels of evaluation can currently not be directly linked (but for the presence of specific off-flavours).

The project will provide an essential baseline regarding the chemical signature of wine, and will constitute a significant contribution to our scientific attempts to link chemical analysis to wine character and quality parameters. In the complex space of interactions between hundreds of flavour active compounds, the baseline signature will indeed provide an underlying structure to build models linking chemical analysis to wine character. By starting with a known synthetic must, transformed by alcoholic fermentation, the inherent complexity of real grape juice is reduced, and chemical signatures can be extracted. Wine like features will be extractable.

Silva Ferreira, A C, Monforte, A, Texeira, C, Martins, R, Fairbairn, S and Bauer, F F. 2014. Monitoring alcoholic fermentation: an untargeted approach. Paper presented at 5th International Symposium on Macromolecules and Secondary Metabolites of Grapevine and Wines: MacroWine 2014. 7-10 September 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Fairbairn, S, Smit, A, Jacobson, D, Prior, B A, Bauer, F F. 2014. Environmental stress and aroma production during wine fermentation, South African Journal of Enology + Viticulture, v. 35 (2) (p. 168-177)

Silva Ferreira, A C, Manforte, A R, Teixeira, C A, Martins, R, Fairbairn, S, Bauer, F F. 2014. Monitoring alcoholic fermentation: an untargeted approach. Journal of Agriculture, Food and Chemistry, Mnth Jul v. 62 (28) (p. 6784-6793)

Fairburn, S, McKinnon A, Musarurwa, H, Ferreira, A C, Bauer, F F. 2017. The impact of single amino acids on growth and volatile aroma production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, Frontiers in Microbiology, Mnth December v. 8 (2554) (p. 1-12)



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