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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Oct 8;51(21):6261-7.

Vitisin A content in Chilean wines from Vitis vinifera Cv. Cabernet Sauvignon and contribution to the color of aged red wines.

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Institute of Food Chemistry, Technical University of Braunschweig, Schleinitzstrasse 20, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany.


Vitisin A was prepared from malvidin 3-glucoside and pyruvic acid in model wine medium, isolated by countercurrent chromatography, and purified by preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The synthesized compound was used as a reference standard to quantify vitisin A in Chilean wines from Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon, including a vertical row of wines from the same vineyard over 16 years. Maximum vitisin A content was reached within the first year of storage. Importantly, up to half of the initial amount of vitisin A in young wines was still present in 15 year old wines. Although vitisin A was found to be much more stable as compared to other monomeric C-4 underivatized anthocyanins, it also slowly degrades after reaching its peak concentration. The "color activity concept" was applied to vitisin A, malvidin 3-glucoside, malvidin 3-(6' '-acetylglucoside), and polymeric pigments isolated by countercurrent chromatography in order to estimate their contribution toward the overall color expression of wines. It was found that vitisin A is only a minor contributor to the visually perceived color of aged red wines (color contribution approximately 5%). The major contributor is the polymeric fraction (color contribution approximately 70-90%).

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