OENO IVAS 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 OENO IVAS 9 OENO IVAS 2019 9 Chemical and Biochemical reactions, including grape and wines microorganisms impact 9 NMR approach for monitoring the photo-degradation of riboflavin and methionine

NMR approach for monitoring the photo-degradation of riboflavin and methionine


The light exposure of white wine is responsible for several reactions leading to changes on colour, flavours and, consequently, affecting the sensory profile. These reactions can take place when the white wine is bottled in clear glass and their mechanisms are dependent on both light exposure and chemical composition of white wine. Particular attention has been given to the reaction involving riboflavin (RF), a photo-sensitizer compound, and methionine (Met), a sulfur-containing amino acid, that can cause the formation of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs), namely methanethiol and dimethyl disulfide. These compounds are responsible for a defect known as light-struck taste. Previous studies showed that hydrolysable tannins, in particular those from nut galls, limited both the degradation of Met and the formation of VSCs. The effectiveness of hydrolysable tannins was also proved after light exposure and storage for 24 months.

 In order to better understand the role of tannins in the photo-degradative reactions, an NMR approach was carried out. A solution containing RF (0.2 mM) and Met (2 mM) acidified at pH 3.2 was exposed to light by using fluorescence light bulbs. The solution was exposed to light up to two hours sampling it every 15 minutes. The same experimental conditions were applied in presence of gallic acid (2 mM), a constitutive unit of nut gall tannins.

 The degradation of RF and Met was monitored and, as expected, their signals decreased as the light exposure increased. Results provided evidence that a new signal appeared at 2.64 ppm. This signal was assigned to the SOCH3 moiety of methionine sulfoxide through the addition of the standard solution and standard 2D-NMR assignment techniques. The formation kinetic of methionine sulfoxide was measured for increased duration of light exposure and its rate resulted two-folds lower with the addition of gallic acid. This result suggests that the limited degradation of Met in presence of tannins, also observed in previous studies, is due to their action as competitor with Met in reducing RF from its excited form.

 The NMR technique was suitable for monitoring the photo-degradative reaction of RF and Met. Further researches have been carried out in order to verify and prove the ability of tannins in quenching both singlet oxygen and RF.


Publication date: June 11, 2020

Issue: OENO IVAS 2019

Type: Article


Daniela Fracassetti, Melissa Mastro, Sara Limbo, Antonio Tirelli, Enzio Ragg

Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), Università degli Studi di Milano Via G. Celoria, 2 20133 Milan (Italy)

Contact the author


Light exposure, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Oxidation, Tannins 


IVES Conference Series | OENO IVAS 2019


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.