Elucidation of the 1,3-sulfanylalcohol oxidation mechanism: an unusual identification of the disulfide of 3-sulfanylhexanol in sauternes botrytized wines.J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Oct 13; 58(19):10606-13.JA
A four-step purification method was developed to isolate a citrus odorant detected by gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O), which was apparently specific to Sauternes botrytized wines. A fragmentation pattern of the odorant was obtained by multidimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry (MDGC-MS-O). The exact mass measurement was used to determine its elemental formula as C(6)H(12)OS. On the basis of these data, the unusual structure of 3-propyl-1,2-oxathiolane was synthesized and characterized for the first time. This confirmed its identification. Its occurrence in Sauternes wine extracts was demonstrated to result from the thermal oxidative degradation of 3-sulfanylhexanol disulfide (3,3'-disulfanediyldihexan-1-ol) in the GC injector. This disulfide was synthesized and then firmly identified for the first time in Sauternes wine. Although the presence of 3-sulfanylhexanol oxidation products had previously been reported in natural extracts (but not wine), the full oxidation pathway from 3-sulfanylhexanol to 3-propyl-γ-sultine via 3,3'-disulfanediyldihexan-1-ol was clearly established for the first time. Because the disulfide has mainly been detected in Sauternes botrytized wines, this finding suggested a singular reactivity of 3-sulfanylhexanol in botrytized wines, thus opening up a wide range of new opportunities in wine chemistry.