Metabolism (biochemical metabolic process) means the absorption, transport and chemical conversion of substances in an organism, as well as the release of metabolic products to the environment. The resulting intermediate products are called metabolites, the whole of the metabolic pathways is called metabolism. Also the fermentation and the operations at bottle aging are such metabolic processes. Derived from this, metabolomics is an analysis method that can be used to determine these metabolic processes. It has also recently been added to the analytical testing applied by wines. Each wine is made up individually at the molecular level and has its own “chemical fingerprint”. This is what scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam ( Brandenburg ) found out.
Using high-resolution mass spectrometers that recognize individual substances due to the slightest difference in their molecular weight, the researchers determined 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 multitude of small molecules, the metabolites. Factors such as ground. weather conditions and methods of winemaking Traces in the wine and determine its molecular composition. The wine has a kind of memory, so to speak, in which its entire history is stored. With that origin. vintage. vine and also the quality measurable.
A project team made up of employees from the Max Planck Institute and the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria (Chile) analyzed the occurrence and distribution of all ingredients from four unmixed Chilean red wines Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenère. Merlot and Syrah that differed in origin, vintage and quality. What was surprising was the low number of only 9% common ingredients that were available in all four varieties. Around 30% turned out to be characteristic biomarkers for each grape variety. The remaining around 60% was present in several, but not all four varieties. Up to 6,400 different ingredients were found for each variety. The method goes much further than classic wine analysis, which only like individual components anthocyanins. phenols or acids considered. It will probably be used in future for quality and origin control, as well as for the detection of wine adulteration used for illicit means.