Phenolic compounds are bioactive substances present in a large number of food products including wine. The importance of these compounds in wine is due to their large effect on the organoleptic attributes of wine. Phenolic compounds play a crucial role in the colour as well as mouthfeel properties of wines. UV-visible spectroscopy appears as a suitable technique for the evaluation of phenolic compounds’ properties and content. The ability of the phenolic ring to absorb UV light and the fact that some of the phenolic substances are coloured compounds, i.e. show absorption features in the visible region, make UV-visible spectroscopy a suitable technique to investigate and quantify grape and wine phenolic compounds. A number of analytical techniques are currently used for phenolic quantification. These include both simpler approaches (spectrophotometric determinations) as well as more complex methodologies such liquid chromatography analysis. Moreover, a number of spectroscopy applications have also been recently reported and are becoming popular within the wine industry. This chapter reviews information on the UV-visible spectral properties of phenolic compounds, changes occurring during wine ageing and also discusses the current UV-visible based analytical techniques used for the quantification of phenolic compounds in grapes and wine.
Part of the book: Frontiers and New Trends in the Science of Fermented Food and Beverages