BACKGROUND: Anthocyanins and flavonols play a significant role in contributing to wine color and mouthfeel, and the interaction of malolactic fermentation with these compounds is not well known. Here we investigated the adsorption of these compounds by Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus plantarum. RESULTS: Delphinidin-3-glucoside (D3G) was adsorbed the most, followed by malvidin-3-glucoside (M3G) and peonidin-3-glucoside (P3G) for both the bacterial species, while flavonols were not adsorbed. An increase in β-glycosidase activity suggested that this enzyme breaks down the anthocyanin glucosides, providing sugars for growth. An average decline of approximately 65% in enzyme activity in the presence of substantial residual sugar was observed. The specific metabolic rates were found to be dependent on the class of anthocyanin and species / strain of the bacteria. Selective adsorption of anthocyanins and not the flavonol glycosides suggest that electrostatic interactions mediate the adsorption. Further, a breakdown of anthocyanins resulted in phloroglucinol aldehyde from the flavonoid A-ring and corresponding phenolic acids from the B-ring, i.e., gallic acid for D3G, syringic acid for M3G, and vanillic acid for P3G. CONCLUSIONS: The breakdown and adsorption of the anthocyanin glucosides can help explain the color loss and aroma changes, such as the appearance of syringic and vanillic acid, associated with malolactic fermentation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes