Agroscope, Nyon, Switzerland
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AIM: Glutathione (GSH) is a powerful natural antioxidant, considered as a promising molecule against oxidative damage of aroma during winemaking and storage. His concentration in the grape juice is variable. Enological practice in the cellar can promote the preservation of the GSH in the grape juice. Recently the prescription of OIV allows to add glutathione rich substances to the must. This new practice creates an increasing interest in the quantification of GSH. Several analytical methods were published to measure GSH[1,2,3,4] and his dimer (GSSG) separately[5] or together as total glutathione[6] content. In this work we compared two analytical methods for the analyses of grape juice and wine samples.

METHODS: The first method is an enzymatic assay (EA), based on the reaction of thiol with DTNB in the presence of glutathione reductase enzyme to measure the total glutathione content. This method was automatized to allow high through-put measurements in the concentration range of 5-100mg/l.
The second method, using UPLC-MS/MS, is more sensitive (LOD = 0.5mg/l) and permits simultaneous quantification of GSH, GSSG and additionally the sulfonated form of glutathione (GSSO3H).

RESULTS: The best results were obtained with 2.5g/l ascorbic acid. Using the two analytical methods, we found a strong correlation (R2=0.98) between the total glutathione (EA) and the sum of GSH and GSSG (UPLC-MS/MS) in grape juice samples (n>100), where the GSSO3H concentration was low (0-8 mg/l) comparing to the GSH and GSSG (5-100mg/l). In wine samples the total glutathione concentration was low (2-7mg/l) and the GSSO3H was more important (5-9mg/l) due to the combination of SO2 with the glutathione. View the high reactivity of GSH, a special attention should be accorded to the preparation and the storage of grape juice samples. We compared the effect of different concentration of SO2 and ascorbic acid as additives and found that 2.5g/l ascorbic acid gave the best results.

CONCLUSION: Based on our results the enzymatic assay is an economic alternative to measure the total glutathione concentration of grape juice. However for wine the UPLC-MS/MS method is recommended, to reach the necessary sensitivity and to analyze all glutathione species.


[1] Lavigne, V.,Pons, A. & Dubourdieu, D. Journal of Chromatography A 2007, 1139, 130-135
[2] Janes, L., Lisjak, K. & Vanzo, A. Analytica Chimica Acta 2010, 674, 239-242
[3] du Toit, W. J., Lisjak, K., Stander, M., & Prevoo, D. J Agric Food Che., 2007 55(8), 2765-2769
[4] Roland, A. & Schneider, R. Food Chemistry 2015, 177, 152-157
[5] Marchand, S. & de Revel, G. Analytica Chimica Act, 2010, 660, 158-163
[6] Adams, O. D. & Liyanage, Ch. Am. J. Enol.Vitic. 1991, 42(8), 137-140

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