Participation in the Wartburg Flavour Chemistry and Biology symposium in Germany and the Macrowine 2016 symposium in Switzerland – The biochemical response of grapevines to smoke exposure

Abstract

The travel grant provided University of Adelaide PhD student, Lieke van der Hulst, the opportunity to attend and present at (i) the 11th Wartburg Symposium on Flavor Chemistry and Biology in Eisenach, Germany (June 21–24) and (ii) the Macrowine 2016 Symposium in Nyon, Switzerland (June 27–30). The focus of these symposia are flavour chemistry and biology, and grape and wine macromolecules and secondary metabolites, respectively. Lieke van der Hulst presented research findings from her PhD at each conference, outlining the impact of smoke exposure by grapevines on the chemical composition of fruit, in particular grapes of different cultivars. Feedback from conference delegates was favourable and, together with networking opportunities and the knowledge gained from other presentation, which spanned flavour chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, sensory science and wine science fields, was immensely valuable.

Summary

In June 2016, Lieke van der Hulst attended two conferences in Germany and Switzerland, during which she presented aspects of her research on the occurrence of smoke taint in fruit. The Wartburg Symposium on Flavor Chemistry and Biology conference convenes every three years at the UNESCO heritage-listed Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. This symposium covers a broad range of topics over four days, and included sessions on chemosensory reception and perception, functional flavour genomics, and flavour generation and precursors. The latter of these three sessions included an oral presentation by Lieke titled ‘Impact of smoke exposure on the composition of different fruit’. Macrowine is a bi-annual symposium held at different locations, organised by the international wine science community. In 2016, Macrowine was held in Changins-Nyon in Switzerland, home of Chasselas wines. Macrowine is a multi-disciplinary conference, but with a focus on viticulture, wine production, and wine aroma and flavour perception. At this symposium, Lieke presented research findings from a field trial involving the application of kaolin to grapevines, as a potential method of ameliorating smoke taint in the vineyard. Her oral presentation was titled ‘Impact of smoke exposure on the chemical composition of grapes’ and was scheduled in the session on ‘Modulators of aroma and taste’. Both presentations initiated interesting discussions with conference delegates, which not only validated project scope and methodology, but provided new ideas for future experiments based in the vineyard or laboratory.

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