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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 3;50(14):3971-6.

Ellagic acid and ellagitannins affect on sedimentation in muscadine juice and wine.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110370, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0370, USA.


A mechanism for the formation of water-insoluble sediments in wines and juices made from red and white muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia) was investigated as a function of processing methodology and storage. Sediments are considered quality defects in muscadine grape products, and their presence may influence consumer acceptability and expansion of retail markets. Processing regimes included both hot (70 degrees C) and cold (25 degrees C) press techniques for wine or juice production, and fermentations in contact with grape skins for 3, 5, and 7 days. Relationships between free ellagic acid (FE), total ellagitannins (ET), and total ellagic acid (TE) concentrations were evaluated initially in each product and in sediments that formed during storage for 50 and 120 days at 20 degrees C. Processing techniques influenced initial concentrations of these compounds and the extent of sediment formation. Following storage, juices generally had higher concentrations of FE in sediments compared to wines, but sedimentation was independent of initial FE or TE concentrations. Decreases in ET were observed for hot-pressed juice and skin-fermented wines after storage indicating their hydrolysis during storage and possible contribution to FE in sediments. However, quantitative analysis of the collected sediments revealed that no more than 12% FE by weight was actually present in the sediments, with the remainder consisting of either unidentified compounds or conjugated forms of ellagic acid. This work elucidated a potential mechanism for the presence of FE in muscadine wine and juice sediments through ellagitannin hydrolysis and suggests that sedimentation from mechanisms other than ellagic acid precipitation may also contribute to wine and juice quality.

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