Extraction of phenolics and changes in antioxidant activity of red wines during vinification

J Burns, P T Gardner, D Matthews, G G Duthie, M E J Lean, A Crozier

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158 Citations (Scopus)


The moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages has been associated with protection against the development of coronary heart disease. Although alcohol itself can help prevent coronary heart disease through a number of mechanisms, red wine appears to offer protection above and beyond that attributable to alcohol alone. Red wine is a complex fluid containing grape, yeast, and wood-derived phenolic compounds, the majority of which have been recognized as potent antioxidants. The aim of this study was to investigate the major phenolic contributors to the antioxidant activity of wine. To this end, four wines were followed during the first 7-9 days of vinification. Individual phenolic compounds were quantified by HPLC, and antioxidant activity was determined by electron spin resonance spectroscopy. The extraction of the phenolics was found to be influenced by vinification procedure, grape quality, and grape variety. Although fermenting wines reached a total phenolic content comparable to that of a bottled wine after 9 days of vinification, the antioxidant activity was significantly lower than that of a finished wine. This suggests that the larger polyphenolic complexes and condensation products that appear during aging make a sizable contribution to the overall antioxidant activity of red wines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5797-5808
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


  • red wine
  • phenolics
  • antioxidant activity
  • vinification
  • spectroscopic assessment
  • polyphenol content
  • quercetin
  • capacity
  • resveratrol
  • evolution
  • grapes


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