Wine Analysis pp 339-358 | Cite as

Determination of Sulfur Dioxide in Grapes and Wines

  • C. S. Ough
Part of the Modern Methods of Plant Analysis book series (MOLMETHPLANT, volume 6)


Very probably sulfur dioxide (SO2) is analyzed in wines more often than any other component. For the best product the careful and judicious use of SO2 is required. Most well-run wineries will check before and after the addition of SO2 to first determine if it should be added, then to be sure the correct amount has been added. The usefulness of SO2 in grape juice and wines has been reviewed many times. A few reviews are Kielhöfer 1963; Wucherpfennig 1975; Ough 1983; Schopfer and Aerny 1985. SO2 performs several functions in the preservation of a grape juice or wine. It inhibits the polyphenol oxidase enzymes of the grape (White and Ough 1973; Ribéreau-Gayon et al. 1976b; Traverso-Rueda and Singleton 1973), prevents oxidation of the wine by binding with aldehydes and ketones (Lafon-Lafourcade 1985), preventing Maillard-type reactions, and reacts with phenols to prevent their further oxidation such as wine pinking (Simpson et al. 1983). The addition of SO2 to a wine decreases the red color by adding to the 2- or 4-position on the anthocyanin.


Sulfur Dioxide Grape Juice White Wine Wine Yeast Sulfite Oxidase 
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  • C. S. Ough

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