The Secret Ingredients in Cider

Researchers in Asturias (a region in northern Spain known for its cider production) wanted to quantify the aromatic composition of natural cider.  Specifically, they wanted to identify the chemical compounds that give various ciders their different sensory attributes.

Cider is a popular alcoholic beverage in the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world.  While wine is made from fermented grapes, cider is made from fermented apples.  Like wine, cider can be sparkling or still, dry or sweet.

Nine samples of cider made from different apple mixtures were analyzed.  Analysis showed that fatty acids, alcohols and volatile phenols contribute to the aromatic profiles of ciders.  Out of 55 components, 28 were found to be of greatest importance in differentiating the samples.  The researchers were able to pinpoint two volatile phenols (4-EG and 4-EP) as the most powerful odorants, helping to giving ciders their aromatic qualities of sweetness and spiciness.

Researchers used multiple Agilent Gas Chromatographs (5890 Series, 6890 Series and 7890 Series) as well as the Agilent 5975 Series GC/Mass Selective Detector.  Their findings may be used to refine and improve cider production in the future.


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