European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 237, Issue 5, pp 655–671 | Cite as

Impact of volatile phenols and their precursors on wine quality and control measures of Brettanomyces/Dekkera yeasts

  • Joyce Kheir
  • Dominique Salameh
  • Pierre Strehaiano
  • Cédric Brandam
  • Roger Lteif
Review Paper


Volatile phenols are aromatic compounds and one of the key molecules responsible for olfactory defects in wine. The yeast genus Brettanomyces is the only major microorganism that has the ability to covert hydroxycinnamic acids into important levels of these compounds, especially 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethylguaiacol, in red wine. When 4-ethylphenols reach concentrations greater than the sensory threshold, all wine’s organoleptic characteristics might be influenced or damaged. The aim of this literature review is to provide a better understanding of the physicochemical, biochemical, and metabolic factors that are related to the levels of p-coumaric acid and volatile phenols in wine. Then, this work summarizes the different methods used for controlling the presence of Brettanomyces in wine and the production of ethylphenols.


Wine p-Coumaric acid 4-Ethylphenol Bioconversion Brettanomyces/Dekkera 


Conflict of interest

Joyce Kheir has received research grants from “Le Conseil de la Recherche de l’Universite Saint-Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon”. Dominique Salameh, Pierre Streihaiano, Cedric Brandam and Roger Lteif declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with Ethics Requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce Kheir
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dominique Salameh
    • 3
  • Pierre Strehaiano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cédric Brandam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roger Lteif
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génie ChimiqueUniversité de Toulouse, INPT, UPSToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Génie ChimiqueCNRSToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Faculté des SciencesUniversité Saint-JosephBeirutLebanon

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