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Quantification of cork off-flavor compounds in natural cork stoppers and wine by multidimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry

Abstract

Trace-level analysis of cork off-flavor compounds considered as responsible for typical [2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA)] and atypical cork taint [geosmin (GSM); 2-methylisoborneol (MIB); 3-isopropyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IPMP); 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP); 3,5-dimethyl-2-methoxypyrazine (MDMP)] was achieved for cork soaks and wines for concentrations below odor threshold (MIB only in cork soaks). The analytical approach was based on headspace solid-phase microextraction and heart-cut multidimensional gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection. Quantification was done using a stable isotope dilution assay. Individual cork stoppers with varying sensory off-odor descriptions were analyzed. In particular, IPMP and IBMP correlated with the cork stoppers described with green attributes. MDMP was found in samples described as dusty–musty or nutty-like. In a migration study, transport of off-flavor compounds from affected cork stoppers into the corresponding wine could be observed after a storage period of 13 months. Multivariate statistics on the wines’ sensory analysis and chemical data showed a good correlation of the individual off-flavor compound concentration, its sensory description and the off-flavor perceived in the wine.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to Rudolf Ohlinger GmbH for providing cork samples, supporting sensory evaluation and categorization, helpful technical discussions and financial support. Financial support from the Ministerium für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Ernährung, Weinbau und Forsten (MULEWF; Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) is gratefully acknowledged. C. Legrum is grateful to the “Graduiertenförderung des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz” for a Ph.D. scholarship. The authors are particularly thankful to Supelco (Sigma-Aldrich) for the supply of SPME fibers.

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Correspondence to Hans-Georg Schmarr.

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Petra Slabizki and Charlotte Legrum have contributed equally to this work.

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Slabizki, P., Legrum, C., Wegmann-Herr, P. et al. Quantification of cork off-flavor compounds in natural cork stoppers and wine by multidimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Eur Food Res Technol 242, 977–986 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-015-2604-x

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Keywords

  • Cork
  • Wine
  • Heart-cut MDGC-MS-MS
  • Alkyl methoxypyrazines
  • Geosmin
  • 2-Methylisoborneol
  • 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole
  • 3,5-Dimethyl-2-methoxypyrazine
  • Musty off-flavor