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Analytical impact of Metschnikowia pulcherrima in the volatile profile of Verdejo white wines

Abstract

Most wine aroma compounds, including the varietal fraction, are produced or released during wine production and derived from microbial activity. Varietal aromas, typically defined as terpenes and thiols, have been described as derived from their non-volatile precursors, released during wine fermentation by different yeast hydrolytic enzymes. The perception of these minority aroma compounds depends on the chemical matrix of the wine, especially on the presence of majority aroma compounds, such as esters or higher alcohols. Strategies aiming to reduce the production of these masking flavors are on the spotlight of enology research as a way to better define varietal standard profiles for the global market. Using a natural white must from Verdejo variety (defined as a thiol grape variety), here we describe the analytical and sensorial impact of using, in sequential inoculations, a selected strain of Metschnikowia pulcherrima, in combination with two different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. An increase in the levels of the thiol 4-MSP (4-methyl-4-sulfanylpentan-2-one) over its sensory threshold, together with a decrease in higher alcohol production, was observed when M. pulcherrima was used. This has an important impact on these wines, making them fruitier and fresher, always preferred by the sensory panel.

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Funding

Funding for the research in this paper was provided by Agrovin S.A, under the framework of the CDTI-financed project IDI-20160102 and by Pago de Carraovejas S.L. CDTI-financed project IDI-20160750 (Centre for Industrial Technological Development, Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain).

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Correspondence to Antonio Santos or Santiago Benito.

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Ten experienced wine tasters were involved in the study.

Conflict of interest

I. Belda is now working at Biome Makers Inc.; E. Navascués is employee of Agrovin S.A.; all other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ruiz, J., Belda, I., Beisert, B. et al. Analytical impact of Metschnikowia pulcherrima in the volatile profile of Verdejo white wines. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102, 8501–8509 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-9255-3

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Keywords

  • Non-Saccharomyces
  • Metschnikowia pulcherrima
  • Polyfunctional thiols
  • Verdejo wine
  • Varietal profile