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A comparison of analytical methods for measuring the color components of red wines

Andrea Versari, , Roger B. Boulton and Giuseppina P. Parpinello, Food Chemistry, Volume 106, Issue 1, January 2008, 397-402

The monomeric and polymeric pigments of 20 young red wines were analysed using most recent of the approaches available for phenolics measurements in wine, including: (i) HPLC with silica-based reversed-phase, (ii) HPLC with polymeric-based reversed-phase columns, (iii) the spectrophotometric Adams’ tannin and polymeric pigments assay, (iv) the Boulton’s copigmentation assay, and (v) the Somers’ unbleached polymeric color assay. Moreover, a modification of an existing HPLC method, i.e. the addition of SO2 to the mobile phases, allowed the unbleached polymeric pigments to be analysed by HPLC for the first time. The wines displayed a variation in their color density at 520 nm that ranged by 10-fold, and included wines made from Pinot noir, Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Sangiovese, Cagnulari and Cannonau grapes. The total color of wines was an aggregate number of three components: copigmentation (8–30%), total free anthocyanins (24–35%), and polymeric pigment (35–63%). Cross-comparison between the selected method was performed and discussed. In particular, the polymeric pigments estimated by HPLC with polymeric-based reversed-phase column were in good agreement with the result of the reversed-phase C18 column (R2 = 0.9703) and the sum of small and large polymeric pigments estimated by the Adams’ assay (R2 = 0.9511). The level of copigmentation can be almost completely described by the levels of monomeric pigments (R2 = 0.9464) and not by the tannin content as has often been suggested (copigmentation vs tannin: R2 = 0.4827). (We recommend that you consult the full text of this article.)

Published on 07/18/2008
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