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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3738-44. doi: 10.1021/jf800183k.

From wine to pepper: rotundone, an obscure sesquiterpene, is a potent spicy aroma compound.

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  • 1The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), P.O. Box 197, Glen Osmond (Adelaide), SA 5064, Australia.

Abstract

An obscure sesquiterpene, rotundone, has been identified as a hitherto unrecognized important aroma impact compound with a strong spicy, peppercorn aroma. Excellent correlations were observed between the concentration of rotundone and the mean 'black pepper' aroma intensity rated by sensory panels for both grape and wine samples, indicating that rotundone is a major contributor to peppery characters in Shiraz grapes and wine (and to a lesser extent in wine of other varieties). Approximately 80% of a sensory panel were very sensitive to the aroma of rotundone (aroma detection threshold levels of 16 ng/L in red wine and 8 ng/L in water). Above these concentrations, these panelists described the spiked samples as more 'peppery' and 'spicy'. However, approximately 20% of panelists could not detect this compound at the highest concentration tested (4000 ng/L), even in water. Thus, the sensory experiences of two consumers enjoying the same glass of Shiraz wine might be very different. Rotundone was found in much higher amounts in other common herbs and spices, especially black and white peppercorns, where it was present at approximately 10000 times the level found in very 'peppery' wine. Rotundone is the first compound found in black or white peppercorns that has a distinctive peppery aroma. Rotundone has an odor activity value in pepper on the order of 50000-250000 and is, on this criterion, by far the most powerful aroma compound yet found in that most important spice.

PMID:
18461961
DOI:
10.1021/jf800183k
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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