Study of the Cluster Thinning Grape as a Source of Phenolic Compounds and Evaluation of Its Antioxidant Potential
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Author/sCarmona Jiménez, Yolanda; Palma Lovillo, Miguel; Guillén Sánchez, Dominico Antonio; García Moreno, María de Valme
SourceBiomolecules 2021, 11(2), 227
Thinning is a common viticulture practice in warm climates, and it is applied to increase the quality of the harvest. Thinning clusters are usually discarded, and they are considered another oenological industry waste. To valorize this by-product, the phenolic content and antioxidant activity of three red varieties (Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah), thinned at three different times between veraison and harvest, were studied: the first at the beginning of the veraison stage, in a low ripening stage; the second in an intermediate ripening stage; and, finally, the third sampling in the highest ripening stage. These by-products showed high values of total phenolic contents (10.66-11.75 mg gallic acid equivalent/g), which is of the same order as or even higher than that found in grape pomace. In thinned grape were identified 24 phenolic compounds, being the flavan-3-ols (catechin and epicatechin) of particular interest, with mean contents ranging from 105.1 to 516.4 mg/kg of thinned grape. Antioxidant activity similar to that of the vintage grape was found. It is concluded that thinned grape is a good source of phenolic compounds. Its content does not depend mainly on the grape variety; however, it has been possible to establish differences based on the maturity stage of the thinning grapes: the intermediate ripeness stage, with a Brix degree in the range of 15-16 for this area, would be the optimum collection time for cluster thinning. In this intermediate ripeness stage, thinning grapes present a higher antioxidant activity and there is also appreciable anthocyanin content, which is not found for the lowest ripeness stage, since these samples present an intermediate composition in all the families of determined phenolic compounds: anthocyanins, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, cinnamic acids, and benzoic acids. It is important to note that the experiments in this study have been carried out with whole tinned grapes, without separating the skin or the seeds.