Determination of Glutathione in Austrian Wine Samples: The Effects of Freezing, the Choice of Yeast and Storage
Glutathione (GSH, γ-L-Glutamyl-L-Cysteinyl Glycine) is a tripeptide of L-glutamate, L-cysteine and glycine. GSH in wine is derived from either grapes or yeast, during alcoholic fermentation. The GSH concentration in wine is very variable and depends on the environmental conditions as well as viticultural practices. During winemaking GSH has a significant role in oxidation prevention due to its unique redox and nucleophilic properties. Since GSH is very reactive it is highly important to prepare samples immediately and under inert conditions just prior to the determination of the GSH concentration. Therefore the aim of this research was to implement a method for the quantitative determination of GSH levels in grape juices (musts) made from different Austrian grape varieties and to investigate the influence of yeast on the GSH content in wine after aging. The results of this research have shown that monitoring with nitrogen gas, sulphur dioxide and freezing process at −25 ºC led to a good protective effect on the free glutathione amount in wine and grape samples. The GSH concentration in the samples was variable. Levels were ranging from non-detectable to up to 23.10 mg/l, and it showed that grape variety has no impact on GSH concentration in the must. Furthermore the results suggest that the choice of yeast has an impact on GSH content in wine even after 6 and 18 months of aging.