I would have thought that by this time scientists would have discovered all the types of molecules in red wine but it turns out that chemists at the University of British Columbia (UBC, Okanagan Campus) and at Australia’s University of Adelaide have recently discovered not one, not two, but 23 new molecules. From the Aug. 12, 2013 UBC news release,
Scientists have long espoused the health benefits of red wine. Now UBC chemists have discovered 23 new molecules that could mean there are even more vino virtues.
Assoc. Prof. Cédric Saucier, who runs the Enology laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has spent years trying to determine what is really going on in that glass of red wine. The latest discovery – in partnership with researchers from Australia’s University of Adelaide and UBC graduate student Ryan Moss – stems from a “fishing” expedition to provide a more complete profile of the molecules already known to be in red wine.
While the team of scientists knew they would find molecules called stilbenoids, the kind which are believed to have health benefits, what they found surprised them – 41 stilbenoid compounds, 23 of which have never before been detected in red wine.
I wish there was a little more detail about how these new molecules were found (did they use more powerful microscopy techniques? is there a new technique for separating the compounds) but this is all the information that”s offered (from the news release),
“The first thing we did was concentrate the wine extract,” says Moss, who is completing his master’s degree in chemistry. “We actually separated the compounds so we could examine each molecule individually and create a fingerprint of each molecule.”
Saucier says the discovery could lead to medical breakthroughs and perhaps more conclusive benefits of drinking wine in moderation. These 23 newly discovered molecules are related to resveratrol, a natural wine chemical found in the skin of red grapes known to have potential effects of preventing aging-related human diseases.
“These new molecules are likely to have very interesting biological properties and may contribute to the benefits from drinking red wine,” says Saucier. “Who knows where this could lead? Perhaps new drugs and medicine for the future?”
Saucier says each of the new stilbenoids must now be analyzed and assessed. This is only the beginning and the new molecules will lead to many more years of research, he adds.
Here’s a citation and a link to the researchers’ published study,
Investigation of monomeric and oligomeric wine stilbenoids in red wines by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry by Ryan Moss, Qinyong Mao, Dennis Taylor, and Cédric Saucier. DOI: 10.1002/rcm.6636 Article first published online: 9 JUL 2013 Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Volume 27, Issue 16, pages 1815–1827, 30 August 2013
This study is behind a paywall.
À votre santé!