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Anal Chim Acta. 2008 Jul 21;621(1):57-67. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2007.11.029. Epub 2007 Nov 23.

Assessing the impact of temperature on grape phenolic metabolism.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


This study assessed the impact of fruit temperature on the phenolic metabolism of grape berries (Vitis vinifera L. cv. Merlot) grown under field conditions with controlled exposure to sunlight. Individual cluster temperatures were manipulated in situ. Diurnal temperature fluctuation was damped by daytime cooling and nighttime heating of clusters. Daytime-only and nighttime-only temperature controls were applied for comparison. Berry temperatures were recorded continuously to compare the chemical data. Samples collected at véraison indicated that damping the diurnal temperature fluctuation advanced the onset of ripening. Those berries were larger (double-damped: 0.753+/-0.015gberry(-1) vs control: 0.512+/-0.034gberry(-1)) and more colored than all others. Development of phenolic metabolites was followed by two reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography methods and gel permeation chromatography. These methods provided information on anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols, flavan-3-ol monomers, and polymeric material. Damping the diurnal temperature fluctuation reduced proanthocyanidin mean degree of polymerization (double-damped: 21.8+/-1.0 vs control: 28.0+/-1.7). Proanthocyanidin accumulation at véraison was linearly related to heat summation over the developmental period with nighttime heating yielding the highest concentration and daytime cooling yielding the lowest (night-heat: 1.46+/-0.13mgberry(-1) vs day-cool: 0.97+/-0.09mgberry(-1)). Damping the diurnal temperature fluctuation had a marked effect on the rate of fruit development whereas total heat summation had more of an effect on phenolic metabolism alone. The results provide insight on the direct effect of temperature on phenolic metabolism.

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