Metabolomics

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 556–573 | Cite as

Sauvignon blanc metabolomics: grape juice metabolites affecting the development of varietal thiols and other aroma compounds in wines

  • Farhana R. Pinu
  • Patrick J. B. Edwards
  • Sara Jouanneau
  • Paul A. Kilmartin
  • Richard C. Gardner
  • Silas G. Villas-Boas
Original Article

Abstract

The pathway for the biogenesis of varietal thiols, such as 3-mercaptohexanol (3MH), 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA) and 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one (4MMP) in Sauvignon blanc (SB) wines is still an open question. Varietal thiol development requires yeast activity, but poor correlation has been found between thiols and their putative respective precursors. This research is the first application of metabolomics to unravel metabolites in the grape juice that affect the production of varietal thiols in wines. Comprehensive metabolite profiling of 63 commercially harvested SB juices were performed by combining gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These juices were fermented under controlled laboratory conditions using a commercial yeast strain (EC1118) at 15 °C. Correlation of thiol concentration in the wines with initial metabolite profiles identified 24 metabolites that showed positive correlation (R > 0.3) with both 3MH and 3MHA, while only glutamine had positive correlation with 4MMP. Subsequently, we carried out juice manipulation experiments by adding subsets of these 24 metabolites in a 2011 SB grape juice in order to validate the hypotheses generated by metabolomics. The juice manipulation results confirmed metabolomics hypotheses and revealed grape juice metabolites that significantly impact on the development of three major varietal thiols and other aroma compounds of SB wines.

Keywords

Metabolite profiling Varietal thiols Correlation Juice manipulations NMR GC–MS 

Supplementary material

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Fig. S1Weight loss of Sauvignon blanc ferments supplemented with different metabolites. Fermentation took place in 250-mL flasks containing 200-mL of juice, incubated at 15 °C under 100 rpm agitation. Data points show average weight loss (n = 3). GABA = γ-amino butyric acid, GSH = S-3-(hexan-1-ol)-glutathione, Cys-3MH = 3-S-cysteinylglycine hexan-1-ol, Cys-4MMP = 4-(4-methylpentan-2-one)-L-cysteine, DAP = Diammonium phosphate, YAN = Yeast assimiliable nitrogen, S-ethyl-cys = S-ethyl-cysteine and R > 0.40 = metabolites that had correlation coefficient (R) greater than 0.40 with varietal thiols (TIFF 7630 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhana R. Pinu
    • 1
  • Patrick J. B. Edwards
    • 2
  • Sara Jouanneau
    • 3
  • Paul A. Kilmartin
    • 3
  • Richard C. Gardner
    • 1
    • 3
  • Silas G. Villas-Boas
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Microbial Innovation, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Fundamental SciencesMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  3. 3.Wine Science Programme, School of Chemical SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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