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Not all haloanisoles in wine come from cork

Haloanisoles in wine have devastating effects on wine aroma and quality. 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) was the first haloanisole identified in 1982 as the cause of musty odor in wine. Even before its discovery, wine producers suspected that corks had something to do with this odor, so the appearance of the defect identified as musty odor was called "cork taint". This pioneering research also concluded that in some wines the concentration of TCA was not directly related to the level of musty odor in the wine.

We now know that there are multiple haloanisoles that can be the cause of musty odors in wine, including 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA), 2,3,4,6-tetrachloroanisole (TeCA) and pentachloroanisole (PCA). Even knowing this, most of the literature focuses only on TCA as the main cause of cork taint, despite the multitude of vectors that the other haloanisoles possess to contaminate wine.
For example, the phenol precursor of TBA is ubiquitous in the building material as a fire retardant, making it a much larger vector. All haloanisoles have the ability to aerosolize and rearrange on cellar surfaces, making this a very difficult problem to eliminate.

This recent article published in the journal Molecules provides a review of the literature, analyzing the multiple haloanisoles found in wine, their sensory impacts, and the wine defect treatment methods currently available (fining with molecular imprinted polymers, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, Fibrafix TX-R filters, polyaniline, zeolite-Y molecular sieves, plastic wraps, and yeast hulls). Finally, current analytical methodologies are described.

Reference article:

Abigail Keng and Andreea Botezatu;Uncorking Haloanisoles in Wine, Molecules 2023, 28(6), 2532;


Published on 03/29/2023
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