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Comparison of inorganic and organic nitrogen supplementation of grape juice – Effect on volatile composition and aroma profile of a Chardonnay wine fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast

Torrea, Diego, Varela, Cristian, Ugliano, Maurizio, Ancin-Azpilicueta, Carmen, Leigh Francis, I., Henschke, Paul A.
Food chemistry 2011 v.127 no.3 pp. 1072-1083
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, grape juice, nitrogen, odors, white wines, yeasts
Inorganic nitrogen salts, and to a growing extent organic nitrogen preparations, are widely used to ameliorate a nitrogen deficiency in wine fermentation, but the impact of nitrogen supplementation on perceived wine sensory profile is essentially unknown. Supplementation of a low nitrogen Chardonnay grape juice with either ammonium nitrogen or combined amino acid and ammonium nitrogen showed that the type of nitrogen and concentration in the range 160–480mgN/l had a substantial impact on the formation of yeast volatile compounds and perceived wine aroma. Addition of amino acid and ammonium nitrogen increased both acetate and medium chain fatty acid esters to a greater extent and decreased higher alcohols to a lesser extent than ammonium nitrogen alone whereas ammonium nitrogen substantially increased ethyl acetate and acetic acid. Low nitrogen wines were rated relatively low in floral/fruity aroma descriptors, while moderate nitrogen wines showed a good balance between desirable and less desirable attributes, whereas high nitrogen produced either an acetic/solvent character or highest ratings for floral/fruity attributes, depending on nitrogen type. These results show that amount and type of nitrogen supplement can substantially modulate Chardonnay wine volatiles composition and perceived aroma.