Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Viticulture and Oenology) by Subject "Alcoholic beverages -- Flavour and odour"
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- ItemGlycerol and wine(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2004-03) Nieuwoudt, Helene; Prior, B. A.; Bauer, Florian; Pretorius, I. S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriScience. Dept. of Viticulture and Oenology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Key research areas in modern enology are related to the production of wine of consistent quality, as well as to the improvement of existing wine quality through the enhancement of the sensory properties of wine. The formation of glycerol during alcoholic fermentation is highly relevant to both these issues. Since the early years of the zo" century, glycerol has been positively associated with the quality of wine and it is thought to impart important mouth-feel sensations such as "viscosity", "smoothness" and "body". In general, it is considered that glycerol concentrations higher than those normally found in wine, can contribute towards the improvement of wine quality. It has also been suggested that increased concentrations of glycerol can enhance the aroma of wine. On the basis of these perceptions, several strategies have been developed to favour the production of glycerol during the fermentation process and over a period of years, a large volume of data has been collected that relates to various aspects regarding glycerol production during alcoholic fermentation. To date, however, several aspects regarding the relationship between glycerol and wine quality remain unclear. The reasons for this situation can mainly be ascribed to the lack of reliable analytical data to serve as a basis for investigating the relationship between glycerol and wine quality, as well as the preponderance of empirical and anecdotal evidence. Despite numerous opinions regarding optimal glycerol concentrations in wine, glycerol is indeed seldom assayed on a routine basis and targets with respect to specific wine grape cultivars and glycerol concentrations have largely remained unspecified. To date, very little information regarding glycerol concentrations in South African wines has been published. The analytical techniques that are most frequently used for the quantification of glycerol in grape juice, fermenting must and wine are not easily automated and this aspect placed severe limitations on the generation of large volumes of analytical data on glycerol concentrations in these matrices. This project was undertaken with the aim to holistically address some of the unresolved issues relating to the relationship between glycerol and wine quality. This also implied the development and optimisation of analytical techniques suitable for the rapid and accurate determination of glycerol in fermentation media, as well as in finished wine. In the first stage of this project a quantitative database was established that contained the analytical data on the glycerol concentrations of a statistically significant number of wines of adjudged quality, as well as additional information for each wine regarding the geographic origin, vintage, routine chemical analyses and the yeast strain(s) used for the production of the wine. The relevance of glycerol in wine for the modern South African winemaker was evaluated through the establishment of a quantitative database that contained the opinions of an expert panel of 15 South African winemakers, enologists and wine chemists on topics relating to glycerol in wine. In the second stage of the project the data captured in the databases were used to investigate aspects regarding the relationship between glycerol and wine quality. From the data captured in the qualitative database, it was clear that the topic regarding glycerol in wine was important to the South African winemakers and it was also evident that there was a need for the development and optimisation of methods suitable for the routine analysis of the glycerol concentrations in grape juice, fermenting must and wine. The opinions of the panel members also highlighted the issue that the mouth-feel property of wine was considered to be an area where the quality of some wines could be further improved. The quantitative database contained the information on the glycerol concentrations of 450 commercial South African table wines of adjudged quality. The premium cultivars Chardonnay, Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage were used for the purpose of investigating the relationship between glycerol concentration and wine quality. The wines represented a wide variety of wine styles, including dry white, off-dry white, dry red and late harvest wines. The average glycerol concentration was significantly associated with the wine style. In white wines the average glycerol concentration was much lower than in the red wines (6.82 gIL versus 10.49 gIL, respectively). No significant relationship between the final glycerol concentration and the geographic origin, vintage and the yeast strain used for the fermentation was found. Wine quality could not be significantly associated with glycerol concentration in the red wines. In the white wines, the relationship between glycerol concentration and wine quality was significant, but due to the very small differences in the average glycerol concentrations of the wines of different quality ratings, the statistical significance is probably of little practical value. The effect of glycerol on the volatility of a selection of esters and higher alcohols was also investigated. Solid-phase microextraction, followed by gas chromatography, was used to analyse the composition of the headspace at equilibrium between the liquid phase and the gas phase of a model wine, and a dry white wine that contained a basal concentration of 5.4 gIL glycerol. Results showed that incremental increases in the glycerol concentrations over a range of 1 -10 gIL in the model wine and in a Chenin blanc wine, were not accompanied by a proportional increase or decrease in the abundance of the aroma components in the headspace. The volatile components tested were isoamyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, ethyl valerate, ethyl lactate, ethyl hexanoate, hexyl acetate, isoamyl alcohol and isobutanol. For all the volatile components tested, the difference between the headspace composition of samples containing the lowest glycerol concentration, and those containing the highest glycerol concentration, was not significant. However, sufficient experimental evidence was obtained to indicate that increasing glycerol concentrations had an effect on the volatility of aroma components, and that the effect is of a complex and non-linear nature. In the third phase of the work Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) was used to establish and optimise methods for the accurate and rapid quantification of glycerol in wine. For this purpose calibrations were developed for the quantification of glycerol in dry wine and late harvest wines. The accuracy of prediction was evaluated by means of the standard error of prediction that was 0.38 gIL for the dry wines and 0.65 gIL for the sweet wines. Large variations are introduced in the FT-IR spectra of wine by factors such as process technology, cultivar and geographic origin, and this variation can have an effect on the accuracy of the analytical data generated when employing FT-IR spectroscopy. Using glycerol prediction in wine as a model system, principal component analysis of the FT-IR spectra was done in order to establish quality control measures for the detection of poorly predicted, or outlier samples. A classification model, based on principal component analysis, was established that enabled the interpretation and classification of the outlier samples in the data set in 100% of the cases tested. This work forms the basis for expanding the quality control measures for the detection of wines of which the FT-IR spectra are highly unnatural, as well as for establishing quality control measures to ensure that accurate analytical data are generated when FT-IR is used. FT-IR spectroscopy was also used to develop a rapid screen for the evaluation of the fermentation profiles of wine yeasts. For this purpose, a selection of wine yeasts, which included commercial wine yeasts frequently used in winemaking in South Africa, as well as a selection of hybrid Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts, that were obtained through a selective breeding strategy aimed at increasing glycerol concentrations were used. Calibrations necessary for the accurate quantification of glycerol, volatile acidity, ethanol, reducing sugar and glucose, in Chenin blanc must and a synthetic must were developed and optimised. This work forms the basis upon which the scope of the analysis, both in terms of the number of components that can be measured, as well as the medium in which the yeasts are being evaluated, can be enlarged. This would be valuable for future applications in both the research as well as the industrial environment. The method that was developed serves to illustrate how this application can play a supportive role in yeast development programmes, through the speeding up of the initial stages of yeast strain evaluation.