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Off-flavours in wines through indirect transfer of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from coatings

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This paper assesses the impact of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the drying of coatings on the sensory characters of corks and wines. According to Italian National Standard Method 11021:2002, a small-scale chamber was used (1) to expose wines to the drying of coatings with both low and high VOCs, and (2) to expose corks to the same coatings. After exposure to the coatings, the corks were then placed in direct contact with wine. Different styles of white, red and rose wines were tested. In both directly exposed wines and in wines after contact with the exposed cork, the taste and smell off-flavour perception and intensity were assessed by a panel of eight experienced wine tasters using a five-point numerical scale according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard methods. The results showed that the sensory characters of wines, especially taste, were influenced by the VOC content of the coatings. The taste off-flavour perception was found to be higher than the smell in wines exposed to coatings with either high or low VOCs contents. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Duncan analysis prove that: (1) panellist's answers were significantly different, (2) it was difficult to differentiate the off-flavour perception on the high-level scale, and (3) the panellist off-flavour perceptions versus wine style discriminated the wines into two groups (red and white/rose). For all the wine styles, Pearson's test showed no significant correlation between off-flavour perception levels and the main chemical characters of the wines. For the wines that were in direct contact with the exposed corks, the panellists detect the off-flavours according to the levels of VOCs in the coating and wine styles and they assessed the highest levels of alteration were to the taste.
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Keywords: coatings; cork stoppers; indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs); off-flavours; wines

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Istituto di Enologia e Ingegneria Agro-Alimentare, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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