Polyphenols extracted from the seeds of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Shiraz berries were monitored during berry development. Initially seeds were green, plump and had pliable seed coats, but beginning at veraison the seeds browned in colour, became desiccated and the seed coats hardened. Isolated polyphenols consisted of flavan‐3‐of monomers ((+)‐catechin, (‐)‐epicatechin and (‐)‐epicatechin‐3‐O‐gallate) and procyanidins. The procyanidins were maximal in the 3 weeks prior to veraison, increasing little during this period. The amounts of flavan‐3‐ol monomers increased 5‐fold during this same period of time, indicating that the procyanidins and the flavan‐3‐ol monomers accumulate at different stages. Beginning at veraison, amounts of all polyphenols declined and changed in composition. The decrease in amount followed second‐order kinetics. Polyphenol changes after veraison could be explained by oxidation and therefore, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was used to follow the potential development of radical species in the developing seeds. Spectra consistent with a phenoxyl radical were observed in the developing seeds. The concentration of radicals remained low until veraison but then increased, reaching a maximum three weeks later, declining slowly thereafter. Changes in radical intensity together with other documented changes in the seed are consistent with an oxidative event occurring during fruit ripening.
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2000
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