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Identification and quantification of volatile and maturation congeners in sugar cane spirit aged in French oak comparision of aging in casks and by interation with wooden chips

Grant number: 12/50290-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2012 - September 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Technology
Principal Investigator:André Ricardo Alcarde
Grantee:André Ricardo Alcarde
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The objective of this study is to compare two methods of maturation of distilled beverages: the conventional method in oak barrels and the maturation through interaction of the spirit with fragments of oak timber. The evaluation of the efficiency of both processes will be performed by analysis of the parameters identified as indicators of quality of distillates, such as the final concentration of maturity and volatile congeners present in sugar cane spirit aged in French oak. For the conventional assay, samples of sugar cane spirit will be aged in oak barrels of 228L for two years. The other method will evaluate the effect of the interaction process between the spirit and fragments of 9 mesh of oak wood at a concentration of 4 g/L for two months. The oak will be from the forest of Nièvre (Bourgogne) submitted to medium toast. Aliquots will be taken periodically, every three months for the conventional aging and weekly for the test with wood fragments. The volatile chemical compounds analyzed by GC (gas chromatography) will be: acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, methanol, propanol, iso-butanol, n-butanol, sec-butanol, isoamyl alcohol and acetic acid. The chemical compounds analyzed by HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) will be: vanillin, syringaldehyde, vanillíc acid, sinapaldehyde, syringic acid, coniferaldehyde, furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and gallic acid. The components of flavor of the aged spirits will be also identified by GC-MS analysis (gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometer) and comparison of spectra with a library built for flavor, fragrance and natural compounds. We expect to obtain parameters to characterize both methods of maturation, as well as monitor the interaction mechanisms of compounds from the wood with the distillate and the generation of them during the studied periods, enabling to understand the physic-chemical actions involved. Through the proposed experiments, analogies may be found in spirits aged by the two methods, allowing basis for possible technological application. (AU)

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