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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>