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Chemists discover 23 new molecules in red wine

Posted: Friday, 16 August 2013 11:28

Chemists discover 23 new molecules in red wine

Aug 16: A team of researching chemists at the University of British Columbia in Canada and Australia’s University of Adelaide have found 41 molecules in red wine, 23 of which are new molecules that could mean there are even more virtues in the red wine drunk in moderation than known thus far, according to a Media Release on Monday.

Assoc. Prof. Cédric Saucier, who runs the Enology laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has spent years trying to determine the constituents of red wine. Scientists already know about molecules called stilbenoid, which are believed to have health benefits. But in this fishing expedition, undertaken to learn about the complete profile of the molecules already known to exists in red wine,  they were surprised that out of the 41 stilbenoid compounds, 23 of have never before been detected thus far.

“The first thing we did was concentrate the wine extract,” says UBC graduate student Ryan Moss who is completing his master’s degree in chemistry and was a part of the research team. “We actually separated the compounds so we could examine each molecule individually and create a fingerprint of each molecule.”

Prof. Saucier says the discovery could lead to medical breakthroughs and perhaps more conclusive benefits of drinking wine in moderation. These 23 newly discovered molecules are related to resveratrol, the natural wine chemical found in the skin of red grapes known to have potential effects of preventing aging-related human diseases and which has been found to have several health benefits especially for cardio health.

“These new molecules are likely to have very interesting biological properties and may contribute to the benefits from drinking red wine,” says Saucier. “Who knows where this could lead - perhaps new drugs and medicine for the future?”

Saucier says each of the new stilbenoids must now be analyzed and assessed. This is only the beginning and the new molecules will lead to many more years of research, he adds according to the Release

Their research was recently published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry: and may be viewed on

Tags: University of British Columbia, Canada, University of Adelaide, Cédric Saucier, Ryan Moss, resveratrol, stilbenoids


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