gamma-Lactones in wine: Synthesis, quantification and sensory studies

Author: Rachel Christine Brown

Brown, Rachel Christine, 2007 gamma-Lactones in wine: Synthesis, quantification and sensory studies, Flinders University, School of Chemistry, Physics & Earth Sciences

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gamma-Lactones are found in a wide variety of food and beverage products, in particular grapes and wine. This thesis details the work completed on some gamma-lactones in wine: their synthetic preparation, development of quantification methodologies and sensory studies. Chapter 1 outlines the history of the Australian wine industry from the arrival of the first vines on the First Fleet in 1788 with Captain Arthur Philip. This chapter provides: an overview of Australia’s position in the world of grape and wine production; an analysis of the export arm of the industry; and a look at the different wine producing regions around the country. The latter part of the chapter focuses on the different volatile compounds found in wine. Part A: Chapter 2 provides an overview on the history of barrel manufacture and the use of oak wood in cooperage, with an emphasis on oak’s well known ability to impart desirable characteristics to wine through the extraction of volatile aroma compounds. This chapter provides a summary of these odorants with a particular emphasis on the oak lactones. Previous sensory studies and synthetic work are discussed. Of great importance to this work are the recent advancements in 1,2-dioxine chemistry, highlighted in this chapter. Chapter 3 details the synthetic work completed for the preparation of all four possible oak lactone stereoisomers. A suitably substituted racemic 1,2-dioxine featured as the common intermediate and enabled preparation of the gamma-lactone moiety upon reaction with a chiral malonate diester and separation of the diastereomers by column chromatography. A key step involved the decarboxylation of the ester cleaved gamma-lactone diastereomers, which could be directed to give either the cis- or trans-products. Standard chemical transformations were then utilised to produce the desired stereoisomers of oak lactone. Chapter 4 describes the results from the sensory studies that were completed on the synthetic oak lactone samples. Odour detection thresholds were measured in both a white and a red wine. The thresholds in the former medium were calculated to be 24 ug/L, 172 ug/L, 132 ug/L and 305 ug/L, while in the latter medium the thresholds were calculated to be 57 ug/L, 380 ug/L, 175 ug/L and 285 ug/L, for (4S,5S)-cis-, (4S,5R)-trans-, (4R,5R)-cis- and (4R,5S)-trans-oak lactone, respectively. Difference testings were completed on the pairs of enantiomers and also on mixtures of the nature-identical isomers: between the cis-enantiomers a significant difference was found at the 99% confidence level, while between the trans-enantiomers and also the mixtures of cis- and trans-isomers little difference was observed. Chapter 5 contains the experimental procedures for Part A. Part B: Chapter 6 discusses the sensory properties of some gamma- and delta-lactones, with the focus on a series of five-alkyl substituted gamma-lactones: gamma-octalactone, gamma-nonalactone, gamma-decalactone and gamma-dodecalactone. Topics covered in this chapter include chirality, biosynthetic pathways and quantification results in wine from previous studies for these gamma-lactones. Chapter 7 concerns the method development for the quantification of gamma-lactones in wine using a stable isotope dilution assay (SIDA). Deuterated analogues were prepared from commercially available racemic gamma-lactones for use as internal standards. Initially a head space solid-phase microextraction (HS SPME) method was developed using d5-standards; however, analysis of bottled wine samples revealed the presence of co-eluting compounds that contained several of the selected ions. Thus an alternative method was developed using d7-standards, with a specific focus on sample clean-up, via solid-phase extraction (SPE). Using this procedure, 44 white and 120 red wines were analysed for their gamma-lactone content. The lactones were found to be significantly more common in the red wines, with gamma-nonalactone the most abundant lactone in this series. Chapter 8 deals with the extension of the SIDA method, as developed in Chapter 7, for use with a chiral gas chromatography column. Optically pure standards were prepared, from either L- or D-glutamic acid, and used to determine the order of elution of the enantiomers. A method was developed for the quantification of the individual enantiomers of gamma-octalactone, gamma-nonalactone, gamma-decalactone and gamma-dodecalactone. The enantiomeric distribution of gamma-nonalactone was investigated in 34 red wines; the (R)-stereoisomer was found to be dominant with an average of 59%, although there were wines analysed that did contain the (S)-stereoisomer in greater amounts. Chapter 9 describes the results from the sensory studies that were completed on the individual enantiomers of the gamma-lactones. Odour detection thresholds were measured in a red wine. The thresholds were calculated to be 238 ug/L, 285 ug/L, 34 ug/L and 8 ug/L for the (R)-enantiomers, while the thresholds were calculated to be 135 ug/L, 91 ug/L, 47 ug/L and 39 ug/L for the (S)-enantiomers, of gamma-octalactone, gamma-nonalactone, gamma-decalactone and gamma-dodecalactone, respectively. Chapter 10 contains the experimental procedures for Part B. Chapter 11 contains the appendices, followed by the references in Chapter 12.

Keywords: wine,aroma compounds,oak wood,oak lactones,gamma-lactones,synthesis,sensory studies,quantification,stable isotope dilution assay
Subject: Chemistry thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2007
School: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Supervisor: Dr Gordon M. Elsey