Effect of acetaldehyde addition on the phenolic substances and volatile compounds of red Tempranillo wines

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Background and Aims:

The introduction of controlled amounts of oxygen into red wines influences the composition of the phenolic substances and volatiles, and therefore the sensory properties of the wines. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a simulation of the micro-oxygenation technique through acetaldehyde addition, on colour, and on the composition of phenolic substances and volatiles of Tempranillo wines after 12 months of bottle storage.

Methods and Results:

The analytical and sensory data were subjected to ANOVA, principal component analysis and orthogonal projection in latent structures discriminant analysis. Addition of acetaldehyde led to an increase in the anthocyanin fraction in coloured form, thus increasing wine colour, together with a change in the composition of the volatiles. Acetaldehyde addition appeared to strongly impact wine ester composition, along with fatty acids and volatile phenols; furthermore, acetaldehyde addition positively influenced the concentration of volatiles.


Acetaldehyde addition to red wine caused an increase in the polymeric fraction of the phenolic substances with its corresponding effect on wine colour density and astringency index. Moreover, the volatiles fraction has been better protected during ageing in wines to which acetaldehyde has been added. The acetaldehyde treatment therefore led to a clear difference in the chemical composition of the wines.

Significance of the Study:

An increase in acetaldehyde in red wines can lead to profound changes in the composition of phenolic substances and volatiles of the wines and may serve as an alternative to oxygen addition in red wines where oxidation is studied.

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