Mass spectrometry in grape and wine chemistry. Part II: The consumer protection

Mass Spectrom Rev. Sep-Oct 2006;25(5):741-74. doi: 10.1002/mas.20087.


Controls in food industry are fundamental to protect the consumer health. For products of high quality, warranty of origin and identity is required and analytical control is very important to prevent frauds. In this article, the "state of art" of mass spectrometry in enological chemistry as a consumer safety contribute is reported. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methods have been developed to determine pesticides, ethyl carbamate, and compounds from the yeast and bacterial metabolism in wine. The presence of pesticides in wine is mainly linked to the use of dicarboxyimide fungicides on vineyard shortly before the harvest to prevent the Botrytis cinerea attack of grape. Pesticide residues are regulated at maximum residue limits in grape of low ppm levels, but significantly lower levels in wine have to be detected, and mass spectrometry offers effective and sensitive methods. Moreover, mass spectrometry represent an advantageous alternative to the radioactive-source-containing electron capture detector commonly used in GC analysis of pesticides. Analysis of ochratoxin A (OTA) in wine by LC/MS and multiple mass spectrometry (MS/MS) permits to confirm the toxin presence without the use of expensive immunoaffinity columns, or time and solvent consuming sample derivatization procedures. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP/MS) is used to control heavy metals contamination in wine, and to verify the wine origin and authenticity. Isotopic ratio-mass spectrometry (IRMS) is applied to reveal wine watering and sugar additions, and to determine the product origin and traceability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Environmental Pollution / analysis
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Pesticides / chemistry
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Wine / analysis*


  • Pesticides