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Sweet-like off-flavor in Aglianico del Vulture wine: ethyl phenylacetate as the mainly involved compound.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (2007-05-29)
Lara Tat, Piergiorgio Comuzzo, Franco Battistutta, Roberto Zironi
ABSTRACT

Interest in high-quality and peculiar products is a recent trend in the enological field; for this reason, production of wines from autochthonous vine varieties is requested by consumers. Aglianico wine from the Italian region "Basilicata" is an example of a promising product strictly connected to the territory; nevertheless, it is affected by a frequent sweet-like off-flavor. In this study the compositional cause of this off-flavor was investigated by SPME-GC-olfactometry, SPME-GC-MS, and sensory tests. Ethyl phenylacetate (EPhA) was found to be the compound mainly responsible, and its sensory threshold was determined near 73 microg/L; products with the odorant concentration near and up to these values were always recognized as significantly different from the other wines and were often far from wine technical pleasantness; besides EPhA gave to the wines a strong honey-like character. Some preliminary hypotheses about its mechanism of formation (shikimate pathway) are presented in this study: these hypotheses could explain the correlation between EPhA and volatile phenols that was found by both sensory tests and GC quantitative analysis of wines affected by different levels of defect.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Ethyl phenylacetate, ≥98%, FCC, FG
Sigma-Aldrich
Ethyl phenylacetate, ReagentPlus®, 99%