Wine Phenolic Compounds: Antimicrobial Properties against Yeasts, Lactic Acid and Acetic Acid Bacteria
Microbiology & Wine Research, Institute of Molecular Physiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz 55099, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: António Manuel Jordão
Beverages 2017, 3(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages3030029
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenolic Compounds in Fruit Beverages)
Microorganisms play an important role in the conversion of grape juice into wine. Yeasts belonging the genus Saccharomyces are mainly responsible for the production of ethanol, but members of other genera are known as producers of off-flavors, e.g., volatile phenols. Lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria also occur regularly in must and wine. They are mostly undesirable due to their capacity to produce wine-spoiling compounds (acetic acid, biogenic amines, N-heterocycles, diacetyl, etc.). In conventional winemaking, additions of sulfite or lysozyme are used to inhibit growth of spoilage microorganisms. However, there is increasing concern about the health risks connected with these enological additives and high interest in finding alternatives. Phenols are naturally occurring compounds in grapes and wine and are well known for their antimicrobial and health-promoting activities. In this study, we tested a selection of phenolic compounds for their effect on growth and viability of wine-associated yeasts and bacteria. Our investigations confirmed the antimicrobial activities of ferulic acid and resveratrol described in previous studies. In addition, we found syringaldehyde highly efficient against wine-spoiling bacteria at concentrations of 250–1000 µg/mL. The promising bioactive activities of this aromatic aldehyde and its potential for winemaking deserves further research.