This project underpins and enables the AWRI’s research, development and extension activities, through the provision of a range of cost-effective essential supporting services and efficient access to critical infrastructure. Specialist capabilities such as those of synthetic organic chemistry, expert instrumental equipment expertise or sensory science, including an available pool of screened, trained and qualified sensory assessors, are critically important for advances in wine science.
In the past 12 months, a major effort involved running 82 smoke panel sessions for projects involving both industry and research samples. As part of this, an expanded group of smoke-sensitive assessors was screened and trained. Sixteen quantitative descriptive analysis studies (not including smoke studies) and several shelf-life studies were run, with 24 technical quality panel sessions completed. Seven difference test sessions, 32 bench-style tastings, and 2 consumer liking studies were also undertaken. A group of 20 new part-time casual panellists were recruited and integrated into the existing panels. A further 12 internal AWRI staff were incorporated into the difference testing panel pool. An evaluation of difference testing methodology compared to outcomes from quantitative descriptive analysis and projective mapping methods showed that sensory projective mapping can be sensitive enough to provide reliable and valid conclusions regarding within- and between-treatment sensory differences.
Synthetic organic chemistry
Several new deuterated analytical standards were synthesised for analytical methods for smoke taint compound quantification, compounds related to oxidative flavour and fermentation-derived aroma compounds. Support was provided for NMR characterisation analyses and for Brettanomyces binding assays. A new relationship with a commercial chemical synthesis provider was established, which allowed complex molecules to be obtained for smoke taint work.
Leigh Francis, Angus Forgan