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From Flavanols Biosynthesis to Wine Tannins: What Place for Grape Seeds?

Rousserie, Pauline, Rabot, Amélie, Geny-Denis, Laurence
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2019 v.67 no.5 pp. 1325-1343
astringency, biosynthesis, bitterness, climatic factors, color, data collection, flavanols, grape seeds, grapes, polymerization, proanthocyanidins, seeds, tannins, winemaking, wines
Phenolic compounds are among the most important quality factors of wines. They contribute to the organoleptic characteristics of wine such as color, astringency, and bitterness. Although tannins found in wine can come from microbial and oak sources, the main sources of polyphenols are grape skins and seeds. Since the 1960s, this subject has been widely studied by a large number of researchers covering different types of wine, climate conditions, growing practices, and grape varieties. As these works have been conducted under different conditions, the data collected can be conflicting. Moreover, even though the biosynthesis of the major proanthocyanidins units (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin is well-known, the mechanism of their polymerization remains unexplained. This is why the question remains: what factors influence the biosynthesis, the quantity, and the distribution of tannins in grape seeds and how can winemaking processes impact the extractability of seed tannins in wine?