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Int J Food Microbiol. 2006 May 1;108(3):385-90. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Influence of fermentation temperature on volatile thiols concentrations in Sauvignon blanc wines.

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ENITA de Bordeaux, 1 Cours du Général de Gaulle, BP 201, CS 40201, 33175 Gradignan cedex, France.


The effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains on the amount of 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one, a major varietal aroma of Sauvignon blanc wines, was demonstrated by previous research work. However, the influence of different alcoholic fermentation parameters on the levels of volatile thiols (4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one, 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate) in wines has not yet been investigated. The impact of fermentation temperature on the final amount of volatiles thiols and on some other analytical parameters (ethanol, total acidity, residual sugars, volatile acidity) was determined in a model medium and in grape juice. Interaction between fermentation temperature and yeast strain was also tested. The fermentation temperature influenced the amount of volatile thiols irrespective of the yeast strain used. The final levels of 4MMP and 3MH in model medium and in wines were higher when the alcoholic fermentation is conducted at 20 degrees C than at 13 degrees C. The 3MHA, which was correlated with the amount of 3MH determined in wines, was also higher when the alcoholic fermentation was conducted at 20 degrees C. From a technological point of view, the choice of yeast strain and fermentation temperature has a decisive influence on the concentrations of the varietal aromas of Sauvignon blanc wines.

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