The use of cyclic voltammetry to characterize wines and wine polyphenols in a pH 3.3 model wine solution has been extended to take into account the effects of sulfur dioxide and polyphenol adsorption processes. A good correlation was obtained between a cyclic voltammetric measure, based upon the response produced before and after acetaldehyde additions, and the concentration of free sulfur dioxide in eight white wines (r(2)=0.974). By the addition of acetaldehyde to the white wines, an important new step in the methodology, the area under the anodic scan in the potential range from -100 to 1200 mV (Ag/AgCl) closely matched the spectroscopic measure of total polyphenols (absorbance at 280 nm) for the white wines, when both were measured in terms of caffeic acid equivalents (r(2)=0.949). The anodic peak area accounted for about 70% of the 280 nm total phenols measure, in catechin equivalents, for the red wines, and a good linear correlation was also obtained (r(2)=0.942). The level of catechol and galloyl-containing polyphenols in the wines was calculated by measuring the size of the first anodic peak at around 450 mV after treatment of the wines with acetaldehyde; the peak current correlated well with the total caffeic acid derivatives in the white wines determined by HPLC (r(2)=0.982). The concentration of flavonols was estimated by selective adsorption of these compounds onto the carbon electrode and determining the anodic peak current at 1120 mV, with good correlations obtained when compared to total flavonols as measured by HPLC (r(2)=0.984 for the red wines, and r(2)=0.987 for the white wines).
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