Stilbenoids are secondary plant metabolites responsible for the protection of multiple plant species including grape vine from bacterial and fungal infection. Red wine has been shown to be a major source of these compounds in the human diet, where they display an array of health benefits.
Chemists from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Canada have provided a more complete profile of the stilbenoids present in red wine, detecting 41 stilbenoid compounds, 23 of which have never before been detected in red wine, which they think could lead to medical breakthroughs in the future.
“These new molecules are likely to have very interesting biological properties and may contribute to the benefits from drinking red wine”, said Associate Professor Cédric Saucier, who runs the enology laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan campus and made the discovery in partnership with researchers from Australia’s University of Adelaide.
The discovery was made by concentrating red wine extract and separating the compounds so that the researchers could examine and create a fingerprint of each one individually.
The 23 newly discovered molecules are related to resveratrol, a chemical found naturally in the skin of red grapes and known to have a potential impact on age-related human diseases.
Now the scientists say they face ‘many more years’ of research, analysing and assessing each of the new stilbenoid compounds.
Source: Investigation of monomeric and oligomeric wine stilbenoids in red wines by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Moss R, Mao Q, Taylor D, Saucier C. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2013 Aug 30;27(16):1815-27. doi: 10.1002/rcm.6636.