Light-induced changes in bottled white wine and underlying photochemical mechanisms

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Bottled white wine may be exposed to UV-visible light for considerable periods of time before it is consumed. Light exposure may induce an off-flavor known as “sunlight” flavor, bleach the color of the wine, and/or increase browning and deplete sulfur dioxide. The changes that occur in bottled white wine exposed to light depend on the wine composition, the irradiation conditions, and the light exposure time. The light-induced changes in the aroma, volatile composition, color, and concentrations of oxygen and sulfur dioxide in bottled white wine are reviewed. In addition, the photochemical reactions thought to have a role in these changes are described. These include the riboflavin-sensitized oxidation of methionine, resulting in the formation of methanethiol and dimethyl disulfide, and the photodegradation of iron(III) tartrate, which gives rise to glyoxylic acid, an aldehyde known to react with flavan-3-ols to form yellow xanthylium cation pigments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-754
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number4
Early online dateApr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 04 Mar 2017


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