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Open AccessArticle

Formation of Hydrogen Sulfide in Wine: Interactions between Copper and Sulfur Dioxide

The Australian Wine Research Institute, P.O. Box 197, Glen Osmond, 5064 South Australia, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Susan E. Ebeler and Helene Hopfer
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1214;
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 10 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Wine Chemistry)
The combined synergistic effects of copper (Cu2+) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) on the formation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in Verdelho and Shiraz wine samples post-bottling was studied over a 12-month period. The combined treatment of Cu2+ and SO2 significantly increased H2S formation in Verdelho wines samples that were not previously treated with either Cu2+ or SO2. The formation of H2S produced through Cu2+ mediated reactions was likely either: (a) directly through the interaction of SO2 with either Cu2+ or H2S; or (b) indirectly through the interaction of SO2 with other wine matrix compounds. To gain better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the significant increases in H2S concentration in the Verdelho samples, the interaction between Cu2+ and SO2 was studied in a model wine matrix with and without the presence of a representative thiol quenching compound (4-methylbenzoquinone, 4MBQ). In these model studies, the importance of naturally occurring wine compounds and wine additives, such as quinones, SO2, and metal ions, in modulating the formation of H2S post-bottling was demonstrated. When present in equimolar concentrations a 1:1 ratio of H2S- and SO2-catechol adducts were produced. At wine relevant concentrations, however, only SO2-adducts were produced, reinforcing that the competition reactions of sulfur nucleophiles, such as H2S and SO2, with wine matrix compounds play a critical role in modulating final H2S concentrations in wines. View Full-Text
Keywords: reductive aromas; hydrogen sulfide; quinone; wine; copper; sulfur dioxide reductive aromas; hydrogen sulfide; quinone; wine; copper; sulfur dioxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bekker, M.Z.; Smith, M.E.; Smith, P.A.; Wilkes, E.N. Formation of Hydrogen Sulfide in Wine: Interactions between Copper and Sulfur Dioxide. Molecules 2016, 21, 1214.

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