Presence of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in north Georgia wines and chemical interaction of resulting flavor metabolites and acetic acid
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Brettanomyces bruxellensis is a particularly troublesome spoilage yeast in wine due to its association with off flavors described as ‘burnt plastic,’ ‘barnyard,’ and ‘Band-aid®’ produced by conversion of phenolic compounds into 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethylguaiacol. The first objective of this research was to assess the occurrence of B. bruxellensis induced off-flavors in red Vitis vinifera wines produced in North Georgia. The eighteen samples of wine were tested by sensory descriptive analysis with confirmation by microbial and chemical analysis. Off-odors associated with B. bruxellensis were detected in seven of the eighteen bottle samples. The second objective of this research was to determine the effect of acetic acid on perceived 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethylguaiacol presence. Detection threshold was measured for 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethylguaiacol with and without addition of acetic acid. Acetic acid showed a masking effect on ethylphenol perception. Brettanomyces has affected the quality of North Georgia wine.