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Effect of principal polyphenolic components in relation to antioxidant characteristics of aged red wines

Arnous, A., Makris, D.P., Kefalas, P.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2001 v.49 no.12 pp. 5736-5742
anthocyanins, polyphenols, hydroxyl radicals, chemical reactions, free radicals, age, wines, flavanols
Aged red wines possess significantly different polyphenolic composition compared with young ones, mainly due not only to formation of polymeric compounds but also because of oxidation, hydrolysis, and other transformations that may occur in native grape phenolics during aging. Representative Greek, single-variety, aged red wines were examined for total phenol, total flavanol, and total anthocyanin content using spectrophotometry, and attempts were made to establish correlations with the antiradical, reducing, and hydroxyl free radical scavenging activity. In addition, HPLC analyses were carried out, to ascertain whether individual polyphenols are actually responsible for the antioxidant effects of aged red wines. It was found that total flavanols are the class of polyphenols that account for hydroxyl free radical scavenging efficacy and to a lesser extent for antiradical and reducing ability, whereas there was a less significant link between the antioxidant properties and the total phenolics and only a weak relationship to total anthocyanin content. The correlation of the antioxidant properties with the principal polyphenols showed that individual compounds are weakly associated with all the antioxidant parameters, suggesting that the expression of antioxidant activity in aged red wines is rather a consequence of synergism between various phenolics, and it is not simply attributed to specific constituents.