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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Oct;49(10):4841-4.

Multivariate analysis of antioxidant power and polyphenolic composition in red wines.

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Department of Food Science and Microbiology, University of Milan, Italy.


It has been demonstrated that the dietary intake of compounds having antioxidant activity is very important, and various chemical, biological, and electrochemical methods have been proposed to evaluate the antioxidant power of compounds such as polyphenols. Wine, although nonessential, has a high polyphenol content up to 2-3 g/L in red wines obtained by traditional maceration. The polyphenol content of wines is usually evaluated by the Folin reagent, which provides an appropriate response to the requirements of wine manufacturers. Because the presence of individual polyphenols may be evaluated by HPLC, more or less selective methods toward the various chemical classes of polyphenols have been developed. An HPLC method set up recently was applied to evaluate how individual polyphenols contributed to the overall antioxidant power (AOP) of 60 Italian red wines, trying to identify the effect that individual compounds may have on the total AOP. Application of the multivariate analysis allowed us to detect some determining compounds such as gallic acid and some flavonols. On the basis of the correlation between two traditional chemical methods, namely the total polyphenol determination by the Folin reagent and the flavanol determination by the condensation reaction with p-(dimethylamino)-cinnamaldehyde, it was shown that the use of these two merely chemical methods is well correlated (r = 0.83 and 0.87) to an AOP evaluation of red wines.

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