Application of a modified method for 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol determination to investigate the relationship between free thiol and related conjugates in grape juice and wine.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

PubMedID: 21456560

Capone DL, Sefton MA, Jeffery DW. Application of a modified method for 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol determination to investigate the relationship between free thiol and related conjugates in grape juice and wine. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59(9):4649-58.
A method has been developed for determining 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3-MH) in wine and grape juice using gas chromatography with conventional electron ionization (EI) mass spectrometry. The limit of quantitation of 40 ng/L was achieved with excellent precision using stable isotope dilution analysis (SIDA) combined with headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) of derivatized 3-MH. This method was used in combination with HPLC-MS/MS analysis of the individual diastereomers of 3-S-cysteinylhexan-1-ol (Cys-3-MH) and 3-S-glutathionylhexan-1-ol (Glut-3-MH), which are known precursors of the volatile thiol 3-MH. Commercial and small-lot winemaking trials were evaluated to determine the concentrations of precursors and free 3-MH at various stages of grape processing and winemaking. Five Sauvignon blanc clones were also assessed for precursors and free thiol during ripening, revealing the presence of 3-MH in the unfermented juices and a stark increase in precursor concentrations in the latter stage of ripening. Additionally, differences due to sample freezing and mode of juice preparation were revealed for the precursors, and a set of commercially available wines was analyzed to investigate the amounts of precursors and free 3-MH in Sauvignon blanc and other white wine varieties. There was seemingly no relationship between precursor concentrations in juice and 3-MH concentrations in wine. This was somewhat understandable, because the formation of precursors appears to be a dynamic process affected by a multitude of factors, beginning with grape ripening and continuing during vinification.