Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NMR scan shows if precious wine is spoiled

28.08.2002


Some bottles of wine are worth thousands of dollars. But if oxygen has leaked past the cork, it could be thousand-dollar vinegar -- and there’s no way to tell without opening the bottle. Now chemists at the University of California, Davis, can check an unopened bottle for spoilage using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the same technology used for medical MRI scans.



Natural bacteria in wine use oxygen from the air to turn alcohol into vinegar, or acetic acid. If a wine bottle is securely corked, the small amount of air in the bottle is quickly used up. If the cork is leaky and air gets in, the vinegar flavor eventually becomes strong enough to make the wine undrinkable.

NMR scans of wine show distinct peaks for water, ethanol and acetic acid, said Matthew Augustine, an associate professor of chemistry at UC Davis. That means you can measure the amount of each component,


Augustine and graduate student April Weekley designed equipment to put whole bottles of wine into one of their powerful magnets, so that they could scan a whole bottle without opening it. The instrument can detect acetic acid at less than one-tenth the amount that would spoil a wine, Augustine said.

They tested bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon wine from the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology’s collection. Bottles from 1950, 1960 and 1968 were spoiled, while bottles from 1956, 1970 and 1977 were likely still drinkable, Augustine said. Although the oldest wine had the highest level of acetic acid, there was no relationship between age and alcohol content or likelihood of being spoiled. Examining the corks for apparent leaks also did not give useful clues about the quality of the wine, he said.

Additional Contact Information:
Matt Augustine, Chemistry,
530-754-7550,
augustine@chem.ucdavis.edu

Augustine thinks that the technology, for which a patent has been filed, could be useful for auction houses and buyers specializing in high-end wines. It could also be adapted to look at other components of wine responsible for flavor, color, aging qualities and potential health benefits.

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>