Mass spectrometry in grape and wine chemistry. Part I: polyphenols.Mass Spectrom Rev. 2003 Jul-Aug; 22(4):218-50.MS
Mass spectrometry, had and still has, a very important role for research and quality control in the viticulture and enology field, and its analytical power is relevant for structural studies on aroma and polyphenolic compounds. Polyphenols are responsible for the taste and color of wine, and confer astringency and structure to the beverage. The knowledge of the anthocyanic structure is very important to predict the aging attitude of wine, and to attempt to resolve problems about color stability. Moreover, polyphenols are the main compounds related to the benefits of wine consumption in the diet, because of their properties in the treatment of circulatory disorders such as capillary fragility, peripheral chronic venous insufficiency, and microangiopathy of the retina. Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques are nowadays the best analytical approach to study polyphenols in grape extracts and wine, and are the most effective tool in the study of the structure of anthocyanins. The MS/MS approach is a very powerful tool that permits anthocyanin aglycone and sugar moiety characterization. LC-MS allows the characterization of complex structures of grape polyphenols, such as procyanidins, proanthocyanidins, prodelphinidins, and tannins, and provides experimental evidence for structures that were previously only hypothesized. The matrix-assisted-laser-desorption-ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) technique is suitable to determine the presence of molecules of higher molecular weight with high accuracy, and it has been applied with success to study procyanidin oligomers up to heptamers in the reflectron mode, and up to nonamers in the linear mode. The levels of resveratrol in wine, an important polyphenol well-known for its beneficial effects, have been determined by SPME and LC-MS, and the former approach led to the best results in terms of sensitivity.