Colorimetric method for the determination of total acidity in wine
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a powerful antioxidant that is used during the manufacte process to quickly eliminate any presence of dissolved O2 that could oxidize phenolic compounds, especially those derived from cinnamic acid, which produces a darkening of the wine. Ascorbic acid very efficiently converts said oxygen into hydrogen peroxide that is subsequently neutralized by the SO2 present in the wine (thus, it is recommended that the wine contains between 30 and 50 mg / L of SO2 before the addition of ascorbic acid to be effective in the elimination of hydrogen peroxide formed). It also prevents oxidation of iron ions as prevention of iron case. An excess of ascorbic can negatively affect the color of the wine and its subsequent evolution.
Fast enzymatic method for gluconic acid determination
D-gluconic acid (together with its cycled form, D-Glucolactone) is a parameter to assess the degree of firmness of grapes produced from glucose by fungi and yeasts. Its concentration increases in proportion to the degree of over-ripening of the grape as well as in grapes infected by fungi (for example, of the genus Botrytis). Its determination is highly recommended when the degree of humidity is high during the grape ripening process to adapt the winemaking process properly.
The majority acids in the grape are tartaric, L-malic, which represent about 90% of the total, and citric acid. In addition, during the fermentation process, other acids such as L-lactic, succinic or acetic appear that also contribute to total acidity. The total content of acids is important because it gives the wine its organoleptic characteristics, resulting in harsh wines when it is excessively high or flat, when it is too low. In addition, the total content of acids has relevance in terms of the conservation of wine, inhibiting the development of microorganisms.
Enzymatic method for sucrose, glucose and fructose measurement
In addition to monomeric hexoses (glucose and fructose), the must contains small amounts of sucrose disaccharide, which is hydrolyzed into fructose and glucose by the enzyme β-fructosidase (β-F). The natural sucrose content in the must is relatively low (and zero in the finished wine), and its addition is specifically prohibited in some countries. However, the addition of sucrose is a specific practice of the process of the production of sparkling wines (second fermentation) and in the captalization (to increase the alcoholic strength artificially, in specifically authorized areas). The determination of the total sugar content, including the one derived from the hydrolysis of sucrose, improves the control of the fermentation process both at its beginning and at the end (residual sugars), improving its general control.
Potassium is the most abundant cation in wine. Its concentration depends both on the grape variety, the soil conditions, the collection procedures (presence of scratches) and the methods used in winemaking. High values of potassium in the grapes will lead to more basic musts, which could adversely affect the quality of the wine. Although most of the potassium salts are soluble, potassium bitartrate decreases its solubility as the concentration of alcohol increases, giving rise to precipitates that, although they do not affect the organoleptic properties of the wine, can be perceived as a decrease in quality.