Wine creates a group of oral-tactile stimulations not related to taste or aroma, such as astringency or fullness; better known as mouthfeel. During wine consumption, mouthfeel is affected by ethanol content, phenolic compounds and their interactions with the oral components. Mouthfeel arises through changes in the salivary film when wine is consumed. In order to understand the role of each wine component, eight different model wines with/without ethanol (8%), glycerol (10 g/L) and commercial tannins (1 g/L) were described using a trained panel. Descriptive analysis techniques were used to train the panel and measure the intensity of the mouthfeel attributes. Alongside, the suitability of different instrumental techniques (rheology, particle size, tribology and microstructure, using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) to measure wine mouthfeel sensation was investigated. Panelists discriminated samples based on their tactile-related components (ethanol, glycerol and tannins) at the levels found naturally in wine. Higher scores were found for all sensory attributes in the samples containing ethanol. Sensory astringency was associated mainly with the addition of tannins to the wine model and glycerol did not seem to play a discriminating role at the levels found in red wines. Visual viscosity was correlated with instrumental viscosity (R =0.815, p=0.014). Hydrodynamic diameter of saliva showed an increase in presence of tannins (almost 2.5–3-folds). However, presence of ethanol or glycerol decreased hydrodynamic diameter. These results were related with the sensory astringency and earthiness as well as with the formation of nano-complexes as observed by TEM. Rheologically, the most viscous samples were those containing glycerol or tannins. Tribology results showed that at a boundary lubrication regime, differences in traction coefficient lubrication were due by the presence of glycerol. However, no differences in traction coefficients were observed in presence/absence of tannins. It is therefore necessary to use an integrative approach that combines complementary instrumental techniques for mouthfeel perception characterization.
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