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 . 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.
 Kinghorn, A. D. Biologically Active Compounds from Plants with Reputed Medicinal and Sweetening Properties. Journal of Natural Products 1987, 50 (6), 1009–1024.
 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.
 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.
Issue: IVAS 2022
1UMR ŒNOLOGIE (OENO), UMR 1366, ISVV, University of Bordeaux
2Univ. Bordeaux, ISM (CNRS-UMR 5255)
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Untargeted approach, Taste-active compounds, Sweetness, Quantitation, ellagitannin