Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone levels in fortified Madeira wines: relationship to sugar content.

PMID 15506814


The maturation of Madeira wines usually involves exposure to relatively high temperatures and humidity levels >70%, which affect the aroma and flavor composition and lead to the formation of the typical and characteristic bouquet of these wines. To estimate the levels of sotolon [3-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone] and their behavior over time, 86 aged Madeira wines samples (1-25 years old), with different sugar concentrations, respectively, 90 g L(-)(1) for Boal, 110 g L(-)(1) for Malvazia, 25 g L(-)(1) for Sercial, and 65 g L(-)(1) for Verdelho varieties, were analyzed. Isolation was performed by liquid-liquid extraction with dichloromethane followed by chromatographic analysis by GC-MS. The reproducibility of the method was found to be 4.9%. The detection and quantification limits were 1.2 and 2.0 microg L(-)(1), respectively. The levels of sotolon found ranged from not detected to 2000 microg L(-)(1) for wines between 1 and 25 years old. It was observed that during aging, the concentration of sotolon increased with time in a linear fashion (r = 0.917). The highest concentration of sotolon was found in wines with the highest residual sugar contents, considering the same time of storage. The results show that there is a strong correlation between sotolon and sugar derivatives: furfural, 5-methylfurfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, and 5-ethoxymethylfurfural. These compounds are also well correlated with wine aging. These findings indicate that the kinetics of sotolon formation is closely related with residual sugar contents, suggesting that this molecule may come from a component like sugar.