The polyphenols , a concept very resorted in the dialect of wine , essential in any tasting, tasting and enological talk that boasts.
Even using the concept with such familiarity and ease, we must be aware that when we name polyphenol , we are naming one of the main pillars of wine, along with acidity and alcohol .
Really, do we understand what the polyphenols in wine are ?
Being objective, we can say that they are chemical substances whose molecular composition intervenes in the broth, providing it with fundamental characteristics.
Being practical, it will surely be a bit difficult for us to understand this definition.
Therefore, to improve the understanding of the role of polyphenols in wine, we will delve a little deeper into the matter.
What are they?
Polyphenols are organic compounds that provide astringency to wine, as well as body, structure and color .
Strictly speaking, they are organic molecules made up of various chemical elements, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, from plants.
The phenols that the vine contributes to the grape and it transfers to the wine, are transformed during the vinification process, mainly during the maceration of the broth. This directly influences the final characteristics of the wines.
We can differentiate two types of polyphenols:
- The non – flavonoid which are potent antioxidants
- And flavonoids like tannins.
Each type and variety of grape has a different composition of phenols, genetically determined and conditioned by external factors, such as the climate, the soil or the winemaking process.
Where are they found?
Polyphenols are found in vegetables and are part of the structure of plants. Therefore, the vines are no less and are full of these compounds.
The grape polyphenols are distributed heterogeneously in the fruit, concentrating mainly on seeds (60%), skin (30%) and to a lesser extent in the pulp and stems (less than 10%).
The role of phenols in plants is not always the same, they intervene in the metabolism of the plant, in protection and in the search for resources.
What does it mean that polyphenols are present in the grape as well as in the plant?
Uniquely, the grape synthesizes the phenols secreted by the plant. It is part of the protection of the vine, it is a defensive response to weather changes, drought, diseases, or any situation that causes stress to the plant.
This circumstance is key to the winemaking process, the polyphenols and their behavior during maceration. It directly and conclusively influences the particularities and nuances of wines.
What is its importance?
Polyphenols are very important in the winemaking process , they provide fundamental characteristics for the wine. The acidity, astringency, color and structure of the wine depend on these natural compounds.
40% of those that go into wine are tannins and 20% anthocyanins. Both are very abundant in red wines .
In white wines, the polyphenols that pass into the broth are mostly non-flavoid, that is, phenolic acids.
Research has shown the positive effects of wine polyphenols on human health . We can consult the report by Dr. M. Lamuela, developed after the Wines & Health Congress.
Discover below what are the main benefits of wine polyphenols and their contributions to the human body :
- Natural antioxidant : they prevent cellular aging, the first symptoms of which are denoted in the skin, a diet rich in foods with polyphenols will help reduce the effects of cellular oxidation.
- Anti-inflammatory effect : polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties. They protect our immune system against possible diseases and viruses.
- They help prevent obesity : they help us keep fit. They promote the transformation of fat into energy and reduce the accumulation of triglycerides.
- They protect the nervous system: they protect and stimulate the brain and improve learning and memory capacity.
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes : prevent diabetes. They improve insulin sensitivity. They reduce the risk of cancer:
- They help restore the body’s antioxidant capacity and prevent tumors . You can read about it in the report ” The effects of wine polyphenols on cancer prevention “, prepared by doctors Marta Sancho and Nuria Mach.
- They lower cholesterol and the risk of atherosclerosis: They are good for the heart. They reduce the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases due to arterial obstruction.
Without a doubt, these are all compelling reasons to justify your great passion for wine .
Next, we help you answer some more questions about polyphenols.
Which wine has the most polyphenols?
The wine that has the most polyphenols is red . The concentration of polyphenolic compounds in wine varies between 1.80 and 1.06 g / l, with an average of 2.57 g for red wine and between 0.16 and 0.30 g / l for white.
What impact do polyphenols have on human health?>
The impact of polyphenols on human health is positive . Organic phenolic compounds like catechin, resveratrol, or quercetin are strong antioxidants that prevent many diseases .
Polyphenols and winemaking form a smart and harmonious combination .
As you have been able to read, enjoying a good wine, in addition to being pleasant, seems to be very healthy. You must take advantage of the situation!
The benefits that wine brings to your health are extensive.
A diet rich in healthy foods and a balanced consumption of our most distinctive ink will raise our defenses and protect us from premature cellular aging.
You no longer have an excuse to hold back, a glass of wine a day provides antioxidants that are very beneficial for health. Remember, always in moderation, do the pairing your meal with a good dose of polyphenols .