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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 26;56(22):10838-46. doi: 10.1021/jf801877y.

Effects of cluster light exposure on 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine accumulation and degradation patterns in red wine grapes ( Vitis vinifera L. Cv. Cabernet Franc).

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University, Geneva, New York, USA.


The effects of light exposure on 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP) accumulation and degradation in Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Franc berries were assessed by comparison of shaded and exposed clusters within the same vine throughout a growing season. Twenty-seven vines were shoot-thinned to create regions of high and low cluster-light exposure within each vine. Samples were collected at 10 time points starting from 5 to 130 days postbloom. The experimental design allowed for intravine comparison of IBMP levels between treatments at each time. Vine-to-vine variability of IBMP and the correlation of IBMP to malic acid were also evaluated. Cluster exposure reduced accumulation of IBMP at all preveraison time points by 21-44%, but did not increase postveraison degradation. Significant vine-to-vine variability in IBMP content was observed, with the highest level of IBMP in shaded berries in the most vigorous block of vines. Although IBMP concentration by weight decreased significantly due to dilution just prior to color change (veraison), no significant IBMP degradation per berry occurred until after color change (day 70 postbloom). By contrast, malic acid degradation began prior to color change, and malic acid concentrations were not affected by cluster exposure preveraison, but were affected postveraison. A survey of 13 sites in New York state (Seneca Lake) showed that IBMP concentrations at 2 weeks preveraison were highly correlated (R(2) = 0.936, p < 0.0001) to levels at harvest, whereas classic grape maturity indices at harvest were uncorrelated with IBMP at harvest. In summary, light exposure conditions critically influence IBMP accumulation but not IBMP degradation.

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