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South African
Wine Lab Association:

Synergistic Effects of Branched-chain Amino Acids and Phenylalanine Addition on Major Volatile Compounds in Wine during Alcoholic Fermentation

Y.-Q. Wang1, D.-Q. Ye1,2, P.-T. Liu1, L.-L. Duan1, C.-Q. Duan1, G.-L.Yan1,*

The effects of adding branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, including L-valine, L-leucine and L-isoleucine),
L-phenylalanine and a mixture of them (BCAAs + Phe) on the fermentation profiles of wine yeast
EC1118 and the production of volatile compounds were investigated in synthetic grape juice. The addition
of selected amino acids had no considerable influence on the yeast growth and primary metabolites of the
sugars. Adding BCAAs increased the production of higher alcohols, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
and their corresponding ethyl esters. In comparison, adding Phe promoted the production of 2-phenylethanol,
2-phenylethyl acetate and ethyl esters of MCFAs. Nevertheless, the supplementation of BCAAs +
Phe further heightened the production of MCFAs, acetate esters and ethyl esters of MCFAs compared to
the single additions, but it attenuated the production of various higher alcohols (1-propanol, 2,3-butanediol
and methionol) compared to the addition of BCAAs, and of 2-phenylethanol and 2-phenylethyl acetate
contents compared to the Phe addition. These results suggest that adding BCAAs or Phe is an efficient way
to adjust wine’s aromatic composition and complexity. Meanwhile, the combined addition of BCAAs + Phe
could be a potential tool to further manipulate wine’s aromatic profile by accentuating or suppressing the
formation of certain aroma compounds.

wine fermentation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, branched-chain amino acids, phenylalanine, aroma compounds

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