Journal of food science

Determination of ortho- and retronasal detection thresholds for 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine in wine.

PMID 17995659


2-Isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IPMP) is a grape-derived component of wine flavor in some wine varieties as well as the causal compound of the off-flavor known as ladybug taint (LBT), which occurs when Harmonia axyridis beetles are incorporated with the grapes during juice and wine processing. The main objective of this study was to obtain robust estimates of the orthonasal (ON) and retronasal (RN) detection thresholds (DTs) for IPMP in wines of differing styles. The ASTM E679 ascending forced choice method of limits was used to determine DTs for 47 individuals in 3 different wines--Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and a red wine blend of Baco Noir and Marechel Foch. The group best estimate thresholds (BETs) obtained for IPMP (ng/L) were Chardonnay, ON: 0.32; Gewürztraminer, ON: 1.56, RN: 1.15, and red wine blend, ON: 1.03, RN: 2.29. A large variation in individual DTs was observed. Familiarity with LBT was inversely correlated with DTs for Gewürztraminer, and no difference in thresholds was observed between winemakers and nonwinemakers. We conclude that the human DT for IPMP is extremely low and influenced significantly by wine style and evaluation mode. We recommend against the reporting of single-threshold values for wine flavor compounds, and encourage the determination of consumer rejection thresholds for IPMP in wine.