Chemical characterization of oak heartwood from Spanish forests of Quercus pyrenaica (Wild.). Ellagitannins, low molecular weight phenolic, and volatile compounds

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Oct 18;54(21):8314-21. doi: 10.1021/jf061546t.


The need for new sources of quality wood supply for cooperage has led to looking into the possibility of utilizing Quercus pyrenaica Wild. oak, a species native to the Iberian peninsula, as an alternative to other European (Quercus robur and Qurecus petraea) and American (Quercus alba) oaks. The low molecular weight phenolic composition, ellagitannins, and volatile compounds (including a wide range of compound families such as volatile phenols, furanic compounds, lactones, phenyl ketones, other lignin-derived compounds, and volatile compounds related to off-flavors) of green heartwood from Spanish forest regions were studied by HPLC and GC, in order to know its enological characteristics. The chemical composition of Q. pyrenaica is similar to that of other species commonly used in cooperage to make barrels, showing only quantitative differences that were more significant with respect to American than to French species. The four provenance regions studied showed similar chemical composition, with high variability among individuals, often higher than the variability among regions of provenance, but in line with that described in other European and American oak woods. Therefore, this species must be considered to be suitable for aging wine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins / analysis*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Quercus / chemistry*
  • Spain
  • Volatilization
  • Wine
  • Wood*


  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Phenols