Sesquiterpenes in grapes and wines: Occurrence, biosynthesis, functionality, and influence of winemaking processes


Grapes are an important global horticultural product, and are mainly used for winemaking. Typically, grapes and wines are rich in various phytochemicals, including phenolics, terpenes, pyrazines, and benzenoids, with different compounds responsible for different nutritional and sensory properties. Among these compounds, sesquiterpenes, a subcategory of the terpenes, are attracting increasing interest as they affect aroma and have potential health benefits. The characteristics of sesquiterpenes in grapes and wines in terms of classification, biosynthesis pathway, and active functions have not been extensively reviewed. This paper summarizes 97 different sesquiterpenes reported in grapes and wines and reviews their biosynthesis pathways and relevant bio-regulation mechanisms. This review further discusses the functionalities of these sesquiterpenes including their aroma contribution to grapes and wines and potential health benefits, as well as how winemaking processes affect sesquiterpene concentrations.

Publication Title

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety