Analysis of tannins in seeds and skins of Shiraz grapes throughout berry development

Authors

  • MARK O. DOWNEY,

    1. CSIRO Plant Industry, Horticulture Unit, PO Box 350 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    2. Department of Horticulture, Viticulture and Oenology, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064 Australia
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  • JOHN S. HARVEY,

    1. CSIRO Plant Industry, Horticulture Unit, PO Box 350 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    2. CRC for Viticulture, PO Box 154, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
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  • SIMON P. ROBINSON

    Corresponding author
    1. CSIRO Plant Industry, Horticulture Unit, PO Box 350 Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    2. CRC for Viticulture, PO Box 154, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
      facsimile +61 8 8303 8601, email simon.robinson@csiro.au
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facsimile +61 8 8303 8601, email simon.robinson@csiro.au

Abstract

The flavan-3-ol and proanthocyanidin composition of both seeds and skin of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Shiraz grapes was determined by reversed-phase HPLC after acetone extraction and acid-catalysis in the presence of excess phloroglucinol. Samples were taken at weekly intervals from fruit-set until commercial harvest. The main period of proanthocyanidin accumulation in grape seeds occurred immediately after fruit-set with maximum levels observed around veraison. Over two seasons there was variation in both the timing and content of proanthocyanidins in seeds. In skin, proanthocyanidin accumulation occurred from fruit set until 1–2 weeks after veraison. Proanthocyanidin subunit composition was different in seeds and skin and changed during berry development but the mean degree of polymerisation of the tannin polymers in skins was higher than in the seeds at all stages of berry development. Proanthocyanidin levels in both seeds and skin decreased between veraison and harvest. Additional proanthocyanidin subunits were released when the residues remaining after acetone extraction were subjected to direct acid-catalysis in the presence of phloroglucinol. In the seeds, these accounted for much of the post-veraison decrease, but not in grape skin. At harvest, 75% of extractable berry proanthocyanidin was in the seeds. Accumulation of proanthocyanidins in the seeds appears to be independent of that in the skins, but in both tissues synthesis occurs early in berry development and maximum levels are reached around veraison.

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