We contributed to the phenolic research of Oregon Wine Research Institute related to smoke taint. You can find our joint publication –“Volatile Phenols in Smoke-Exposed Pinot noir Wines – Biomarkers and Model Prediction”–on American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV) here.
Prepare for a flavorful journey into the world of molecules! Have you ever been curious about how we distinguish among common kitchen items like sugar, baking soda, starch, or baking powder without a taste test? Join our engaging demonstration as we unveil the secret molecular “dances” behind these everyday ingredients. What’s more, budding young scientists will have the opportunity to piece together these kitchen essentials using a 3D molecular model kit—just like the pros do! Dive into the fun with us and savor the science of the unseen at the Oregon Science Festival!
We are proud to announce our proposal with Oregon State University (OSU) has won the 2022-2023 funding of the American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) and Oregon Wine Board (OWB). In this research proposal, we identified Raman spectroscopy as a potential disrupter of smoke taint assessment. Its speed, robustness against water concentration, high sensitivity and specificity, and low equipment cost are well positioned to complement GC-MS and HPLC/MS technology in large-scale smoke taint assessment. Together with the co-principal investigators in OSU, we hope to make an impact in driving down the detection limit and make fast smoke taint assessment a reality.
In the summer of 2020, wildfires in Oregon brought devastation to the winemakers. The local community donated a large amount of juice and wine samples to support smoke taint research at Oregon State University. GC-MS studies related to guaiacols and cresols were conducted to find the fingerprint of smoke taint. This research was reported on 2022 Grape Day, by Michael Qian, professor of flavor chemistry at OSU/OWRI. Spectra Scientific was proud to contribute to the statistical data analysis, particularly in finding the multivariate signature of smoke taint chemicals.
Congratulations to Oregon State University, Washington State University, and UC Davis for receiving the largest research grant for enology from USDA. There are at least seven particular markers — guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, 4-ethylguaiacol, 4-ethylphenol, m-cresol, p-cresol, and o-cresol — known to be responsible for the smoky taste of wine. However, the matrix effect from different wines creates different sensory impacts of these compounds. It is very difficult to determine the thresholds to make harvest decisions.
The following objectives were sought by the researchers:
- Develop new technologies and establish low-cost sensors and sensor networks for real-time risk assessment in the vineyard.
- Assess the impact of smoke exposure on the health of grapes and grapevines.
- Develop grape coatings to reduce or eliminate uptake of smoke components into grapes.
- Optimize a rapid small-batch fermentation method to predict what a wine impacted by smoke will taste like when fermented on a commercial scale.
- Determine sensory quality thresholds of smoke compounds in wine.
- Link environmental, chemical and sensory data to create predictive modeling of smoke risk to grape and wine quality.
- Create an integrated outreach component to communicate the research findings and their use, and enable industry to benefit from them.
We look forward to the success of their research and building sustainable viticulture in the age of climate change.