Effect of nitrogen supplementation and Saccharomyces species on hydrogen sulfide and other volatile sulfur compounds in shiraz fermentation and wine

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 10;57(11):4948-55. doi: 10.1021/jf8037693.


A Shiraz must with low yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) was supplemented with two increasing concentrations of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and fermented with one Saccharomyces cerevisiae and one Saccharomyces bayanus strain, with maceration on grape skins. Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) was monitored throughout fermentation, and a total of 16 volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) were quantified in the finished wines. For the S. cerevisiae yeast strain, addition of DAP to a final YAN of 250 or 400 mg/L resulted in an increased formation of H(2)S compared to nonsupplemented fermentations (100 mg/L YAN). For this yeast, DAP-supplemented fermentations also showed prolonged formation of H(2)S into the later stage of fermentation, which was associated with increased H(2)S in the final wines. The S. bayanus strain showed a different H(2)S production profile, in which production was inversely correlated to initial YAN. No correlation was found between total H(2)S produced by either yeast during fermentation and H(2)S concentration in the final wines. For both yeasts, DAP supplementation yielded higher concentrations of organic VSCs in the finished wines, including sulfides, disulfides, mercaptans, and mercaptoesters. PCA analysis indicated that nitrogen supplementation before fermentation determined a much clearer distinction between the VSC profiles of the two yeasts compared to nonsupplemented fermentations. These results raise questions concerning the widespread use of DAP in the management of low YAN fermentations with respect to the formation of reductive characters in wine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fermentation*
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / analysis
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Sulfur Compounds / analysis
  • Vitis / chemistry
  • Vitis / metabolism*
  • Volatilization
  • Wine / analysis*
  • Wine / microbiology


  • Sulfur Compounds
  • Nitrogen
  • Hydrogen Sulfide