Metabolism (biochemical metabolic process) is understood to mean the absorption, transport and chemical conversion of substances in an organism, as well as the release of metabolic products into the environment. The resulting intermediates are called metabolites, the totality of metabolic pathways is called metabolism. Also the fermentation and the events at the bottle aging are such metabolic processes. Derived from this, metabolomics is an analysis method by means of which these metabolic processes can be determined. It is also recently in the analytical examination applied by wines. Each wine is composed individually on a molecular level and has its own "chemical fingerprint". This is what scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam ( Brandenburg ) found out.
With the help of high-resolution mass spectrometers, which recognize individual substances due to the slightest differences in their molecular weight, the researchers identified up to 7,000 different ingredients that are found in wine (see also under total extract ). More than half of these chemical compounds are still unknown. Wine essentially consists of water. alcohol and a variety of small molecules, the metabolites. It leaves behind factors such as ground. weather conditions and methods of winemaking Traces in the wine and determine its molecular composition. The wine, so to speak, has a kind of memory in which its entire history is stored. This is ancestry. vintage. vine and also the quality measurable.
A project team of staff from the Max Planck Institute and the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria (Chile) analyzed the appearance and distribution of all ingredients of four unmixed Chilean red wines Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenère. Merlot and Syrah, which differed in origin, vintage and quality. Surprising was the low number of only 9% of common ingredients that existed in all four varieties. About 30% proved to be characteristic biomarkers for one grape variety each. The remaining 60% were present in several but not all four varieties. For each variety, up to 6,400 different ingredients could be detected. The method goes much further than the classical wine analysis, which only individual components like anthocyanins. phenols or acids considered. It will presumably be used in future in quality and origin control, as well as uncovering wine adulteration used for unauthorized means.