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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 23;59(4):1338-43. doi: 10.1021/jf103741n. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Formation of Damascenone under both commercial and model fermentation conditions.

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School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia.


The fermentations, at a commercial winery, of six different grape musts encompassing the varieties Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Shiraz, Grenache, and Pinot noir were monitored for damascenone concentration. In every case, the concentration of damascenone increased during fermentation from low or undetectable levels to concentrations of several parts per billion. Further increases in damascenone concentration were observed during barrel aging of three of these wines. Two ketones, megastigma-4,6,7-triene-3,9-dione (4) and 3-hydroxymegastigma-4,6,7-trien-9-one (5), were synthesized and subjected to fermentation conditions using two yeasts, AWRI 796, and AWRI 1537. In the case of the former compound, 4, synthesis confirmed the original, tentative assignment of the structure and confirmed 4 as a natural product, isolated from honey. Both compounds, under the action of both yeasts, produced appreciable amounts of damascenone (1), with ketone 5 and AWRI 796 yeast yielding the highest concentration of 1.

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