Untargeted LC-HRMS analysis to discover new taste-active compounds in spirits.

​For several years, the chemistry of taste has aroused high interest both from academics and industrials. Plant kingdom is a rich and reliable source of new taste-active compounds. Many sweet, bitter or sour molecules have been identified in various plants [1]. They belong to diverse chemical families and their sensory properties are strongly affected by slight structural modifications. As a consequence, the investigation of natural taste-active products in a given matrix appears as a major challenge for chemists. Such studies are particularly relevant in oenology since they allow a better understanding of wine and spirit taste.

The present study aims at proposing an original methodology for the discovery of new taste-active compounds. In this context, an untargeted metabolomic approach using liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS, Orbitrap analyzer) was implemented on several “eau-de-vie” of Cognac. Different statistical analyzes allowed to assess the overall structure of the data, which represents hundreds of ions, and to select and identify compounds of interest. On this basis, compound A and B were chosen according to several criteria. A fractionation protocol from “eau-de-vie” of Cognac and oak wood extracts, including liquid-liquid extractions, centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) and Preparative-HPLC, was set up to isolate and characterize these targeted compounds. Their structures were elucidated by HRMS and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Additionally, compound A was perceived as sweet and compound B exhibited a taste of fat in two matrices [2-3].These results highlight the interest of an untargeted differential analysis, hyphenating separative techniques and sensory analysis, to discover new taste-active compounds. These studies provide promising perspectives for a better understanding of the molecular markers responsible for the taste of foods and beverages.

Authors: Winstel Delphine1, Bahammou Delphine1, Capello Yoan2, Albertin Warren1, Waffo-Teguo Pierre1, Quideau Stephane1 and Marchal Axel1

1UMR ŒNOLOGIE (OENO), UMR 1366, ISVV, University of Bordeaux
2Univ. Bordeaux, ISM (CNRS-UMR 5255)

*corresponding author: delphine.winstel@u-bordeaux.fr


[1] Kinghorn, A. D. Biologically Active Compounds from Plants with Reputed Medicinal and Sweetening Properties. Journal of Natural Products 1987, 50 (6), 1009–1024.
[2] Winstel, D.; Bahammou, D.; Albertin, W.; Waffo-Téguo, P.; Marchal, A. Untargeted LC–HRMS Profiling Followed by Targeted Fractionation to Discover New Taste-Active Compounds in Spirits. Food Chemistry 2021, 359, 129825.
[3] Winstel, D.; Capello, Y.; Quideau, S.; Marchal, A. Isolation of a New Taste-Active Brandy Tannin A: Structural Elucidation, Quantitation and Sensory Assessment. Food Chemistry 2022, 377, 131963.

Keywords: Untargeted approach, Taste-active compounds, Sweetness, Quantitation, ellagitannin

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