Effect of SO2, GSH and gallotannins on the shelf-life of a cortese white wine

AIM: Studying the effect of the addition of reduced glutathione (GSH) and/or gallotannins at bottling to limit the use of SO2 in white winemaking.

METHODS: Two aliquots of a Cortese white wine were oxygenated respectively to 5.5 ppm (experiment A) and 3 ppm (experiment B) of O2. The additives (SO2, gallotannins, GSH) were added at bottling at 2 levels following a full factorial plan: 20-60 mg/L of free SO2; absence/presence (40 mg/L) of tannins, absence/presence (20 mg/L) of GSH.

Experiment A was monitored during 12 months of storage (colour, polyphenolic composition, GSH, free and total SO2); the samples of experiment B were analyzed and the sensory profiles were defined 15 months after bottling. The oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was measured with a luminescence-based technology.

RESULTS: SO2 was the only additive that increased OCR and decreased colour intensity, without any effect on polyphenols content and HCTA. The presence of GSH limited the oxidative losses of SO2, mostly in the wines with higher SO2 levels. The effect of GSH decreased over time: after 8 months GSH was only present in traces. A higher SO2 content, though not statistically significant, was  still observed 12 months after bottling in the samples with both tannins and GSH. The sensory analyses distinguished the samples for the colour and some olfactory descriptors. The samples with GSH had more intense licorice notes and lower pinapple notes.

CONCLUSIONS: The oxidative browning of wines during bottle storage was limited only by the residual presence of free SO2: the colour intensity and the free SO2 content are inversely correlated. The addition of GSH, alone or together with tannins, reduced the losses of free SO2. The low efficacy of GSH could be due to the low dosage used.

Authors: Silvia Motta – Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria – Centro di Ricerca Viticoltura ed Enologia, via P. Micca 35, 14100 Asti, Italy,Maria Carla Cravero*, Massimo Guaita*, Maria Rosa Lottero*, Antonella Bosso* *Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria – Centro di Ricerca Viticoltura ed Enologia, via P. Micca 35, 14100 Asti, Italy

Email: silvia.motta@crea.gov.it

Keywords: oxygen, glutathione, tannins, SO2, white wine

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