The Biochemistry of the Grape Berry

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Grapes (Vitis spp.) are economically significant fruit species. Many scientific advances have been achieved in understanding physiological, biochemical, and molecular aspects of grape berry ...
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Aroma and Aroma Precursors in Grape Berry

Pp. 111-136 (26)

P. Darriet, C. Thibon and D. Dubourdieu

Abstract

The grape berry is the site of biosynthesis and accumulation of compounds that are likely to contribute in wines some of their aromatic characteristics. These compounds have the aromatic potential, and exist in part as volatile forms but mainly as non-volatile aroma precursors that can be released through chemical and biochemical reactions during vinification and ageing. The chemistry of aromas has gradually identified a number of key volatile compounds and their precursor forms. Among these compounds, we have considered methoxypyrazines, monoterpenes and C13-norisoprenoids, which are derivatives of carotenoids and sulfur compounds possessing a thiol group. They represent a large diversity of flavour nuances (herbaceous, fruity, floral, empyreumatic, etc.), often at trace concentrations (in the nanogram per litre range). The reactivity of these compounds in enological conditions, and the state of the knowledge on their biosynthesis in grapes, both in volatile form, possibly odorous, and in precursor form (glycosylated or conjugation of cysteine and glutathione) are described.

Keywords:

Aroma precursors, C13-norisoprenoids, Methoxypyrazines, Monoterpenes, Odoriferous compounds, S-conjugates, ß-damascenone, Terpenes, Thiols.

Affiliation:

Université de Bordeaux, Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin Unité de recherche Oenologie, EA 4577, USC INRA, 210 chemin de Leysotte, CS 50008, 33882 Villenave d’Ornon cedex, France