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Characterization of the level of maturation of aged sugar cane spirit (cachaça): evaluation of maturation-related phenolic compounds

Grant number: 16/23211-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2017 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology
Principal Investigator:André Ricardo Alcarde
Grantee:André Ricardo Alcarde
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Aline Marques Bortoletto

Abstract

In order to add quality to cachaça, aging in barrels of wood is essential aiming to increase the chemical and sensorial profile. The determination of the level of spirit maturation is influenced by several factors, such as species of wood used to manufacture the barrels, the application or the degree of internal burning, the number of uses of the barrel and the aging time. The level of maturation of the distillate can be determined using the concentration of aging-markers phenolic compounds extracted from the wood of the barrel and their relations with each other. The objective of this study is to characterize the aging process of cachaça by analyzing the mechanism of lignin degradation during the maturation of the spirit in wooden barrels, in order to establish the relation between the age of the distillate and the phenolic compounds extracted from the wood. Aged cachaças will be studied for up to 75 months of ageing process in barrels of different wood species (oaks and tropical woods), without or with internal burning (with different intensities) and various use conditions (new use, second use and extensive use). The evaluation is based on the following analyses: aging compounds by HPLC, volatile congeners by GC-FID, esters by GC-MS mode SIM, fatty acids by GC-MS mode SCAN, flavor compounds by GC-MS mode SCAN and ethyl carbamate by GC-MS mode SIM. These analyses have not yet been explored together as comparison factor between spirits. It is expected to develop an innovative methodology to determine the level of aging of cachaça based on the relationships between the phenolic compounds. We also hope to produce data to base the use of tropical wood as an alternative for the aging of cachaça. (AU)