Wednesday, September 30, 2009

en amour avec la Science....Mass Spectrometry Unlocks the Secrets behind Champagne's Effervescence!

Scientists in Reims, France recently unlocked the organoleptic nature of Champagne's fizz, the sensory explosion these delicate bubbles envelope, 5 litres of them that dance away from a single 0.75 litre bottle of Champagne.

It takes a scientist with an obsession in bubbles to discover that, they do not just win with their abundance, but it is their wittiness that gives them the edge. Though both components of Champagne, the golden fluid and the bubble display similar diversity of molecules (polyphenolics, amino acids, peptides, and fatty acids), the bubbles with their intelligence, secretly compartmentalise those with greater impact in aroma. This phenomenon allows the bubbles to carry 30 times more flavour-enhancing chemicals than in the rest of the drink, molecules such as fatty acids molecules that display the yeasty and toasty character, and as compounds from the fatty acids biosynthesis pathway of Vitis Vinifera.

We often speak of the significance in scientific research. Some see this discovery as the opportunity to perfect sparkling beverages (though the vigneron of Champagne might not agree on the necessity), but to me, there is nothing more extraordinary than unraveling the world's wonders.

For those whom are interested in reading the journal article, this is the sitation:
Liger-Belair et al. PNAS 106:16545-16549

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