Determination of ortho- and retronasal detection thresholds and odor impact of 2,5-dimethyl-3-methoxypyrazine in wine.
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2,5-Dimethyl-3-methoxypyrazine (DMMP) has been recently identified in both Coccinellidae-tainted (by either Coccinella septempunctata or Harmonia axyridis beetles) and untainted wines; however, little is known regarding its impact on wine aroma and flavor. The aims of this study were to obtain an accurate estimate of both the ortho- and retronasal detection thresholds of DMMP in red wine and to understand how DMMP contributes to the aroma profile of red wine. In the first study, thresholds were determined for 21 individuals using the ASTM E679 ascending forced choice method of limits. The orthonasal group best estimate threshold (BET) was 31 ng/L and the retronasal group BET was 70 ng/L. A moderate variation in individual thresholds was observed for the orthonasal modality (standard deviation (SD) = 19.8) and a larger variation was noted for retronasal thresholds (SD = 111.8). In the second study, a panel of 8 assessors performed descriptive sensory analysis on 3 red wines containing various concentrations of added DMMP (0, 50, and 120 ng/L). Results show significant changes in aroma characteristics in the 120 ng/L wine and smaller effects at the 50 ng/L level. Overall, wines spiked with DMMP generated lower intensity ratings for cherry and red berry descriptors and higher ratings for earthy/musty and green/vegetal descriptors. When considered with other recent results on DMMP concentrations found in wine, DMMP can be considered a hitherto undescribed impact odorant in some wine styles.